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Milo Imagines the World

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Milo is on a long subway ride with his older sister. To pass the time, he studies the faces around him and makes pictures of their lives. There's the whiskered man with the crossword puzzle; Milo imagines him playing solitaire in a cluttered apartment full of pets. There's the wedding-dressed woman with a little dog peeking out of her handbag; Milo imagines her in a grand Milo is on a long subway ride with his older sister. To pass the time, he studies the faces around him and makes pictures of their lives. There's the whiskered man with the crossword puzzle; Milo imagines him playing solitaire in a cluttered apartment full of pets. There's the wedding-dressed woman with a little dog peeking out of her handbag; Milo imagines her in a grand cathedral ceremony. And then there's the boy in the suit with the bright white sneakers; Milo imagines him arriving home to a castle with a drawbridge and a butler. But when the boy in the suit gets off on the same stop as Milo--walking the same path, going to the exact same place--Milo realizes that you can't really know anyone just by looking at them.


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Milo is on a long subway ride with his older sister. To pass the time, he studies the faces around him and makes pictures of their lives. There's the whiskered man with the crossword puzzle; Milo imagines him playing solitaire in a cluttered apartment full of pets. There's the wedding-dressed woman with a little dog peeking out of her handbag; Milo imagines her in a grand Milo is on a long subway ride with his older sister. To pass the time, he studies the faces around him and makes pictures of their lives. There's the whiskered man with the crossword puzzle; Milo imagines him playing solitaire in a cluttered apartment full of pets. There's the wedding-dressed woman with a little dog peeking out of her handbag; Milo imagines her in a grand cathedral ceremony. And then there's the boy in the suit with the bright white sneakers; Milo imagines him arriving home to a castle with a drawbridge and a butler. But when the boy in the suit gets off on the same stop as Milo--walking the same path, going to the exact same place--Milo realizes that you can't really know anyone just by looking at them.

30 review for Milo Imagines the World

  1. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    The human brain loves to form assumptions because long ago that adaptive quality could potentially lead to enduring survival. When Homo sapiens were tromping about 250,000 years ago, the ability to size up a potential friend or foe instantaneously could mean the difference between life or death. But what serves you well in the ancient plains, running from a lion, does not serve you particularly well when making snap judgments in the 21st century. We form instant thoughts and feelings about the s The human brain loves to form assumptions because long ago that adaptive quality could potentially lead to enduring survival. When Homo sapiens were tromping about 250,000 years ago, the ability to size up a potential friend or foe instantaneously could mean the difference between life or death. But what serves you well in the ancient plains, running from a lion, does not serve you particularly well when making snap judgments in the 21st century. We form instant thoughts and feelings about the strangers that surround us based on the most superfluous of things. We don’t just do it to people either. We might do it to books. We might . . . ah . . . we might do it to a certain book that’s sitting on my lap right now. You see I haven’t always (how do I put this?) felt the full weight of the Robinson/de la Peña partnership’s charm offensive. Last Stop on Market Street and Carmela Full of Wishes struck me as good dry runs. Strong running leaps towards something that they never quite reached. But now, looking at Milo Imagines the World I know what they were leaping for. Milo combines the messaging of those other two books with a gut punch ending and a slow sinking in of the story at its core. Smart and sweet, it could teach you a thing or two about false conclusions. I can attest to that. Milo and his older sister are taking their monthly Sunday subway ride. On the train there are a variety of different fellow riders, like the businessman with the blank lonely face or the woman in a wedding dress with a pup in her handbag. To distract himself from what he's now feeling, Milo draws the lives of the people around him. Maybe that bride is off to her wedding. Maybe that boy in a suit has servants and gourmet crust-free sandwich squares waiting for him at home. But if this is what Milo thinks of these people, what must they assume about him? It really isn’t until Milo sees that the boy in the suit is going to the same place that he is that he starts to rethink things. The stories he made up earlier shift and grow kinder. And then, there’s his mom. It’s visiting hours at her correctional facility, and Milo shows her one picture he doesn’t want to change: The three of them eating ice cream on a stoop on a beautiful summer day. Milo isn’t the first picture book one might encounter about having an incarcerated parent by a long shot. What makes it stand out is the simple fact that Milo’s mom isn’t the focus of the book and merely supports its message. Other books like Visiting Day by Jacqueline Woodson or A Card for My Father by Samantha Thornhill, or Hazelnut Days by Emmanuel Bourdier all zero in squarely on the relationship between the child and the parent. Milo takes this a step further. It moves away from the uniqueness of the situation, instead focusing on the near normality of visiting an imprisoned mom. This is just a part of Milo’s life and he’s now reaching the age when you begin to put the pieces together that shape your world. He’s realizing that even the simple act of assigning subway strangers different roles means falling back on a simplistic narrative. It’s only when he begins to rework his own assumptions about the other boy on the subway car that he’s able to also rework the other stories he drew as well. Marvelously, the book shows us in a clear cut way how one person can be challenged by their own assumptions and how that change gives them new eyes on the world. Much of this credit falls on Matt’s text. If Last Stop on Market Street was focused on public transportation in the form of a bus, Milo Imagines the World prefers public transportation in the form of a subway car. That makes a lot of sense too. Subway car rides are relatively smooth so it’s not hard to draw. You can interact more easily with strangers on a subway car than a bus too. And since most of the action in this story is on that train, the book takes on the feeling of a one-act play. Milo must, with minimal human interactions, come to a complex understanding of how the human mind works and how he personally (and through him, the child reader) can take steps to avoid its tricks and traps. I liked too the fact that we’re seeing the world through Milo’s filter, and the minimal dialogue is a boon to Matt’s writing. It allows the reader the chance to concentrate on the writing, particularly when Matt gets to describe one of Milo’s scenes. For example, the man in the green hat lives in a fifth floor walk-up where, “Parakeets tweet songs of longing as the man sips tepid soup, hunched over a game of solitaire.” Later he watches the little boy ahead of him in line go through the metal detector. “Milo studies the boy in the suit, his dad rubbing his thin shoulders.” And then, the revelation that is so simple you’d think even grown-ups would get it: “Maybe you can’t really know anyone just by looking at their face.” Maybe. I used to live in Manhattan. Lived there eleven years or so, and over the years I’ve seen an awful lot of picture books set there. For whatever reason, you can always tell when a book set in New York is made by someone who has never lived there or hasn’t lived there in years. Yep, I always peer extra closely at any book that lays claim to NYC as its location. Now Matt’s a Brooklyn man and it shows. The New York he writes about here has all the discomfort and wonder and casual peculiarities of the city. Sitting on the subway you might definitely see a bride with blue hair holding a pole. And when she disembarks the buskers would most certainly burst out with a rendition of “Here Comes the Bride,” absolutely! But Christian on the other hand lives in what I believe is Northern California. In other words, the antithesis of the Big Apple itself. Is it apparent on the page? Well, I appreciated that he used a real subway system (the 4,5, 6) and that made me want to figure out where Milo’s mom is being held. But the Bayview Correctional Facility is closer to the C and E trains, so I for a second there I thought maybe that this book was way off base. That is UNTIL I noticed that Milo and his sister get off of an A train at their last stop, so that may mean they transferred somewhere and the A train is running on the C line. But even basic logistics aside, look at the detail work here. The rivets on the painted metal pillars in the subway stations. The raised yellow circles on the edges of the platform. You’d never guess Christian didn’t live in NYC for years and years. He has an eye for authenticity and detail that does a reader proud. He even put Starbucks coffee cups on the ground outside of the garbage cans. Could anything be more New York than that? Please bear in mind too that what Christian Robinson does with his acrylic pants and collages and digital art is exceedingly difficult. He must use all his skills to render something simply. Which is to say, he has to take complex visuals and simplify them to the point where brushstrokes can convey a slice of an entire city. Now that’s a challenge, but one that Christian is fairly used to at this point. They don’t hand you Caldecott and Coretta Scott King Honors for just being a nice guy (which, by all accounts, he is). What makes this book different is that he is also put in the position of having to draw what Milo is drawing. That’s right. He has to make art that looks like a kid would make it. AND he has to make that art significantly different from his own. So what does he do? He doubles down on that simplicity I was talking about earlier. No paints, just what appears to be crayons and colored pencils (though those aren’t listed on the publication page, so I guess they’re all digital too). And then on top of all that, he’s gotta make one of Milo’s drawings carry the emotional weight of the final wordless image of the book. Some folks prefer Christian’s work when it gets all fancy. I prefer it when it becomes as simple as can be. Did you notice that when we’re looking at the cover, at the publication and title page, and under the book’s jacket at the physical book itself, Christian Robinson puts us into Milo’s mind, seeing the things he’s imagining everywhere? Yet when the book's story starts up you’re outside of Milo and the world shifts back to normality. I was staring under the jacket of this book for a while when it occurred to me that the best picture books, the ones that really get under your skin (and that apparently give me roundabout 1,371 words of praise with which to write reviews) are ineffable. You can’t really define what it is about them that makes them work as well as they do. The elements at work in Milo Imagines the World should, potentially, work for any number of books out there. Instead, this is the book that I continue to think about long after I’ve put it down or read it to my kids. The internet, that brain outside our brains, relies so heavily on snap judgments. People are heroes or villains. The world is black or white. And all that complexity that makes up a human being gets ironed out on the digital page. Sometimes, it’s the picture books that prove to be the best corrective. Read this book to a child when you yourself need to remember that the world is full of horrible, wonderful, complicated people and that there are millions of their stories out there just waiting to be learned. For ages 4-7

  2. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    When people look down their noses at academics who study children’s literature because it isn’t literary or highbrow enough, books like MILO IMAGINES THE WORLD are the perfect example that children’s literature is literary, layered, complex, and worthy of study — while also being really beautiful and necessary storytelling for children to experience. In MILO IMAGINES THE WORLD, he is on a long subway ride with his sister and he is very nervous about the destination in which he is going. To pass When people look down their noses at academics who study children’s literature because it isn’t literary or highbrow enough, books like MILO IMAGINES THE WORLD are the perfect example that children’s literature is literary, layered, complex, and worthy of study — while also being really beautiful and necessary storytelling for children to experience. In MILO IMAGINES THE WORLD, he is on a long subway ride with his sister and he is very nervous about the destination in which he is going. To pass the time, he observes the people around him and draws stories that he imagines their lives to be. At the end of the book the reader discovers where he was going that made him so nervous and excited. While the story is certainly a social commentary, it is not didactic or preachy and it will certainly elicit great classroom discussion about assumptions and judgments we make about people.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    With the suspension of the Goodreads Choice 2021 Picture Book category, I was of mixed feelings; first, my family yearly rates all the nominees, but we had in recent years been less impressed with the nominees (which Rod Brown found were often published by Amazon subsidiaries). So I consulted a couple sources for likely Caldecott Award nominees, and I asked a few people to read them with me; in general they are so much better than, for instance, last year’s GR bunch. As my kids get older, they h With the suspension of the Goodreads Choice 2021 Picture Book category, I was of mixed feelings; first, my family yearly rates all the nominees, but we had in recent years been less impressed with the nominees (which Rod Brown found were often published by Amazon subsidiaries). So I consulted a couple sources for likely Caldecott Award nominees, and I asked a few people to read them with me; in general they are so much better than, for instance, last year’s GR bunch. As my kids get older, they have mostly dropped out of the reading, but I still have anywhere from 2-4 readers with me this year. #1o is “Milo Imagines the World,” by Matt de la Pena and illustrated byChristian Robinson. Milo draws people on a bus, and imagines what people are like, but in order to do that you really have to get to know them. R (retired librarian): (3 stars). Language too sophisticated for the age of the child, Milo. Imagination also too advanced. Book could be shortened and still get concept across. T (electrician): (4 stars). I guess I liked it. Surprise ending--I was wondering where it was going. Dave (teacher) (3.5 stars). Two rock star artists collaborate, but as with all of de la Pena’s picture book work (he also does YA, that I am more familiar with and like better), this is too long, has too many words for what it needs. But good commentary on the limits of the imagination; you have to dig deeper to really know someone, but will kids at this age really be able to appreciate this point? Art leans to being consistent with kid art. Robinson is great.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jamila

    There is so much to be said about this loaded, anti-bias book. I love it! I foresee storytime and activities that explore prejudice, assumptions, -isms, empathy, criminal justice, and family.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    Milo is riding the subway with his sister. We don't know where they are going, but it is a weekly trip that takes a long time. Along the way he imagines the lives of fellow passengers and draws pictures of them -- going home to their pets, living in a castle, getting married, etc. Perhaps first impressions do not always give us an accurate picture. . . Where are Milo and his sister going? I will leave that for you to discover via the words and picture of the 'Last Stop On Market Street' creators Milo is riding the subway with his sister. We don't know where they are going, but it is a weekly trip that takes a long time. Along the way he imagines the lives of fellow passengers and draws pictures of them -- going home to their pets, living in a castle, getting married, etc. Perhaps first impressions do not always give us an accurate picture. . . Where are Milo and his sister going? I will leave that for you to discover via the words and picture of the 'Last Stop On Market Street' creators. If you loved that one, this one will also be a winner. Thank you to G.P. Putnam's Sons and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ann Santori

    I MEAN, we knew it would be good, but DAMN. Really subtle incorporation of an incarcerated parent, which is very rare in children's lit, gorgeous art, emotional narrative arc. Fantastic. *I received a free e-ARC from Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review.* I MEAN, we knew it would be good, but DAMN. Really subtle incorporation of an incarcerated parent, which is very rare in children's lit, gorgeous art, emotional narrative arc. Fantastic. *I received a free e-ARC from Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review.*

  7. 5 out of 5

    Abby Johnson

    How much can you tell about someone by the way they look? As Milo and his sister take the subway together, Milo distracts himself from his worries about their errand by drawing pictures about the people he sees on the train. When they get off and get into line at the prison to visit their mother, Milo spies one of the boys he saw on the train and realizes that his drawing was completely wrong. Maybe he needs to reimagine the drawings in his sketchbook. This is a powerful story about the judgments How much can you tell about someone by the way they look? As Milo and his sister take the subway together, Milo distracts himself from his worries about their errand by drawing pictures about the people he sees on the train. When they get off and get into line at the prison to visit their mother, Milo spies one of the boys he saw on the train and realizes that his drawing was completely wrong. Maybe he needs to reimagine the drawings in his sketchbook. This is a powerful story about the judgments we make about others and trying to see the world from another's point of view. A must for library and home bookshelves.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Haidee Cardoso

    This picture book was excellent! It turned out to be a much deeper book than I had expected. It also has amazing illustrations courtesy of Christian Robinson (who illustrated another favorite picture book of mine, Carmela Full of Wishes). But this book's environment felt authentic and almost like you were with Milo and his big sister the entire time. It also had a thought-provoking ending (which can be a hit or miss with picture books meant for children) that left me thinking afterwards. Already This picture book was excellent! It turned out to be a much deeper book than I had expected. It also has amazing illustrations courtesy of Christian Robinson (who illustrated another favorite picture book of mine, Carmela Full of Wishes). But this book's environment felt authentic and almost like you were with Milo and his big sister the entire time. It also had a thought-provoking ending (which can be a hit or miss with picture books meant for children) that left me thinking afterwards. Already we have a picture book who is a contender to be my favorite picture book of 2021. Go read it!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Perry

    And yet another reason why I LOVE picture books.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    "Maybe you can't really know anyone just by looking at their face." "Maybe you can't really know anyone just by looking at their face."

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ms. B

    3.5 stars, the talented Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson team up in this story about Milo who passes the time on the subway drawing pictures of what he imagines the lives of other riders to be. Some sad, some happy, some larger than life. But what about Milo and his sister? What are there lives like outside the subway? Why are they on the subway, where are they going? Readers will enjoy guessing what Milo's story is until the very end. 3.5 stars, the talented Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson team up in this story about Milo who passes the time on the subway drawing pictures of what he imagines the lives of other riders to be. Some sad, some happy, some larger than life. But what about Milo and his sister? What are there lives like outside the subway? Why are they on the subway, where are they going? Readers will enjoy guessing what Milo's story is until the very end.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Owen

    This book normalizes a child going to visit an incarcerated parent without being overbearing. Well done.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    A thoughtful and beautiful picture book in every way. Quite possibly Robinson's best artwork yet. A thoughtful and beautiful picture book in every way. Quite possibly Robinson's best artwork yet.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jenn Adams

    Wow. I could tell from the beginning that I was going to love this, but that ending was really powerful. Sometimes picture books with a deep/heavy message come across too didactic and don't actually make and enjoyable story for the kids who are supposed to be the audience. But this was SOO well-done. Milo anxiously rides the subway and imagines the lives of the people around him. He likes to draw the stories he comes up with his head, and to do so he tends to make assumptions about people, as we Wow. I could tell from the beginning that I was going to love this, but that ending was really powerful. Sometimes picture books with a deep/heavy message come across too didactic and don't actually make and enjoyable story for the kids who are supposed to be the audience. But this was SOO well-done. Milo anxiously rides the subway and imagines the lives of the people around him. He likes to draw the stories he comes up with his head, and to do so he tends to make assumptions about people, as we all tend to do. When he arrives at his destination and sees that one of the other little boys from the train is there too (spoiler alert: they both have incarcerated parents), he recognizes that the stories of people around us may not always be what they seems. LOVE THIS BOOK and expect it to be very popular. (Also love the art style) Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    From the wonderful team that brought happiness in their books Last Stop on Market Street and Carmela Full of Wishes comes Milo, on a subway trip with his sister, imagining the people on the train and parts of their lives. He has a sketchbook and a vivid imagination. There's a whiskered man, a boy in a suit, a wedding-dressed woman, others, too. Milo's sister (older) is playing a game on her phone while Milo sketches stories for the people. There is an epiphany at the end, of Milo's and of mine. From the wonderful team that brought happiness in their books Last Stop on Market Street and Carmela Full of Wishes comes Milo, on a subway trip with his sister, imagining the people on the train and parts of their lives. He has a sketchbook and a vivid imagination. There's a whiskered man, a boy in a suit, a wedding-dressed woman, others, too. Milo's sister (older) is playing a game on her phone while Milo sketches stories for the people. There is an epiphany at the end, of Milo's and of mine. Christian Robinson's mixed-media illustrations are wonderful and his creations for Milo's drawings, well, they're like a young child's, crayon-drawn with some detail that shows the stories in his head. We really cannot always know all the life by looking at faces, can we? You'll love Milo and his sister, as Matt de la Pena shows in his story. they're both "shook-up sodas".

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    De la Peña and Robinson never disappoint me, but they’ve truly endeared themselves to me with this picture book. On one level, it’s about a little boy visiting his incarcerated mother. This theme resonates with me because I volunteer with a program that mentors kids like Milo. I’m always touched to hear their stories told with empathy and compassion. This team does just that. The text is gorgeous, of course. De la Peña was first published as a YA novelist, but I think he really shines as a pictur De la Peña and Robinson never disappoint me, but they’ve truly endeared themselves to me with this picture book. On one level, it’s about a little boy visiting his incarcerated mother. This theme resonates with me because I volunteer with a program that mentors kids like Milo. I’m always touched to hear their stories told with empathy and compassion. This team does just that. The text is gorgeous, of course. De la Peña was first published as a YA novelist, but I think he really shines as a picture book author. His text poetically evokes emotions and scenes, as well as the beauty of everyday life. Robinson’s art brings out these qualities, using mixed media collage to convey the richness of daily experiences. También disponible en español.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    While on a subway with his big sister, Milo draws pictures of what he thinks his fellow passengers will be doing when they get off. And then, Milo notices that one of his assumptions was way off base, and reimagines a different scenario. De la Pena tells a smart story of Milo's observations while Christian does beautiful work illustrating the story as well as Milo's childlike drawings. All of it is pitch perfect in its authenticity and affirming message: "Maybe you can't really know anyone just While on a subway with his big sister, Milo draws pictures of what he thinks his fellow passengers will be doing when they get off. And then, Milo notices that one of his assumptions was way off base, and reimagines a different scenario. De la Pena tells a smart story of Milo's observations while Christian does beautiful work illustrating the story as well as Milo's childlike drawings. All of it is pitch perfect in its authenticity and affirming message: "Maybe you can't really know anyone just by looking at their face." Another fabulous collaboration that is sensitive yet powerful in its storytelling. Also don't miss Milo's drawings on the book cover under the dust jacket!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This book is really fantastic: great story details, awesome art by Christian Robinson, and even some character development as it leads into a brother and sister visiting their incarcerated mom.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    This beautiful book from the dynamo team behind Last Stop on Market Street have batted another one clean out of the park. Milo and his sister get on the subway early one morning and Milo passes the time watching the people around him. As he looks at each one he imagines the lives they lead and draws them in his sketchbook. The woman in the white tulle dress must be going to a wedding! The sad looking man is probably heading to a lonely apartment where he'll eat canned soup all alone. The blond ha This beautiful book from the dynamo team behind Last Stop on Market Street have batted another one clean out of the park. Milo and his sister get on the subway early one morning and Milo passes the time watching the people around him. As he looks at each one he imagines the lives they lead and draws them in his sketchbook. The woman in the white tulle dress must be going to a wedding! The sad looking man is probably heading to a lonely apartment where he'll eat canned soup all alone. The blond haired, blue eyed boy in the seat opposite him is surely going to a castle where he'll be waited on hand and foot. But when Milo and his sister arrive at their stop, a place Milo is both longing to get to and afraid to enter, he sees that the well dressed little boy is going to the same place! Maybe it doesn't matter how he's dressed or what color his skin is. Is it possible that looks don't necessarily tell you everything you need to know about someone else's story? We read this book aloud at bedtime and I'm glad I paged through it first mainly because bursting into tears in front of the boys tends to do the opposite of get them ready to sleep. Seriously though I'm glad I did because this is a lovely book, beautiful to look at and full of Milo's joyful, crayon scribbled pictures but it is also a heartbreaker. Why exactly that is can be found under the spoiler tag and I would recommend, just for the sake of being prepared for questions, that you check it out. (view spoiler)[Milo and his sister are going to visit their mom in prison. Quick readers will pick up on the context clues as you go through the story. As Milo thinks about his own world and the things that make him happy he thinks about how much he enjoys hearing his mom read him a bedtime story over the phone. We see the siblings get online for a metal detector inside a building where a lot of police cars are parked outside. Then the inevitable scene of the children embracing their mother who is wearing an orange jumpsuit. This is hard stuff but it is also necessary for kids to see and its a story that is told in such a gentle, loving way. Hard stuff like this doesn't have to be terrifying. Milo's lesson as he sees the little boy, who he assumed based on how he looked was nothing like him at all, run up to hug his own orange jumpsuit wearing mom is that it doesn't matter what you're wearing or what expression you have on your face or how well your hair is combed. You can never know all of someone else's story just based on what they look like. The one I think we, the grownups, are meant to take a way goes a little deeper. We could use some reminding that the circumstances we find ourselves in and the choices, good or bad, that led us there are not the only thing that defines us. Milo and his sister are going to see a woman who clearly adores them. We don't know what happened to put her in prison. What we do learn is that she reads to her son every night. We learn that all those pictures he was drawing were for her, and the very last words in the book are about Milo waiting in hope that she will smile when she sees them. (hide spoiler)] We are none of us one story. We aren't the clothes we wear or the colors we dye our hair or the music we listen to or the color of our skin or the language we speak. Those things are part of us but they aren't who we are. We have to remember that when we meet each other in the world and we have to get better at seeing with more than just our eyes. I would like everyone I know, whether you've got little ones or not, to read this book. Matt de la Pena's writing is simply beautiful, Milo's voice is worldly wise and innocent, a smart boy who's grown up more than he should have to who sees such beauty in the world even while riding the dirty old subway. de la Pena's descriptions of that subway and its passengers so vividly conjure up images of NYC I was reminded almost too strongly of my long ago morning commute. Christian Robinson's illustrations are the perfect pairing to those words. He draws the subway and streets of New York teaming with life and color and soul. The distinction between the "real" world and Milo's drawings is also cleverly handled. He really grasps the child like sort of scrawl that you'd expect from a young child. I wish I had more stars to give this one. Truly.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michele Knott

    This is a really important book to read and discuss and talk about bias....

  21. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Gorgeous. Touching. Brilliant. Perfect.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    “Excitement stacked on top of worry on top of confusion on top of love.” Perspective, people watching, & a subway ride full of unique characters; Dynamic duo Matt de la Peña & Christian Robinson have given us another book full of color & community in Milo Imagines the World!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mutually Inclusive

    The award winning duo behind Last Stop On Market Street and Carmella Full of Wishes, Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson, are back at it with their latest release, Milo Imagines The World. In this book, we follow a young boy named Milo as he and his older sister take their monthly Sunday subway ride to visit their mother. As we follow Milo on his commute, he observes the people around him and draws their lives as he imagines them to be. In Milo’s drawings, a young boy in a suit becomes a prince The award winning duo behind Last Stop On Market Street and Carmella Full of Wishes, Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson, are back at it with their latest release, Milo Imagines The World. In this book, we follow a young boy named Milo as he and his older sister take their monthly Sunday subway ride to visit their mother. As we follow Milo on his commute, he observes the people around him and draws their lives as he imagines them to be. In Milo’s drawings, a young boy in a suit becomes a prince and a woman in a wedding dress marries a man who whisks her away in a hot air balloon. I don’t want to give away the ending, but I will say that as Milo reaches his destination, he is surprised to find the young boy in the suit is going to the very same place as Milo and his sister. That’s how he learns that we can’t really know anyone just by looking at them, and is inspired to reimagine all of his drawings. Inspired by Christian Robinson’s childhood experiences, Milo Imagines The World is a beautiful story that reminds us all not to judge a book by its cover. The lyrical text encourages us to practice understanding and love before judgement. I have a feeling this one will be an instant classic, and I can’t recommend it enough. I think my favorite part has to be Christian Robinson’s illustrations! I especially love Milo’s drawings, the way they provide depth to Milo as a character by giving us a look into his internal monologue and his understanding of the world around him. I also want to extend a HUGE thank you to G. P. Putnam’s Sons for proving me with a review copy of Milo Imagines The World. This is one I will keep coming back to for years to come with my little one. Blog | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads | Storygraph

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kari

    I want to say that I like the message of Last Stop on Market Street but find it a challenging read-aloud. This one also has lovely language and, to me, is easier to read to kids. Really excellent work here.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Extraordinary. Brilliant. Powerful. Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson are my favorite storytelling team. Absolutely stellar on their own, when they choose to create a story together it is beyond magic. They simply GET people and, most importantly, that kids are people, too. Balancing hard emotions with the whimsy of childhood opens up a soft space for adults and children to share moments about what it means to SEE other people for who they are, the perceptions we carry and implicit bias that t Extraordinary. Brilliant. Powerful. Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson are my favorite storytelling team. Absolutely stellar on their own, when they choose to create a story together it is beyond magic. They simply GET people and, most importantly, that kids are people, too. Balancing hard emotions with the whimsy of childhood opens up a soft space for adults and children to share moments about what it means to SEE other people for who they are, the perceptions we carry and implicit bias that tags along, while weaving in a rich story of love and compassion familiar to so many families in the US. Milo, as an artist, observes everyone as he takes the subway in New York with his sister. These observations become imaginings and Robinson, with his incredible detail, depicts Milo’s imaginings of those he sees in crayon so it stands out separately from the acrylic paint and mixed media collage of Milo’s journey. There is so much to see on Milo’s journey and it isn’t until the end that the reader discovers he is visiting his mother with his older sister - a mother who is incarcerated. Two other passengers from the subway are there for the same reason, which causes Milo to reconsider his imaginings and own instinctive bias. Neither the words nor art are heavy-handed or moralistic, but breathe gently across the pages like Milo’s own imagination. This is a must have for every library and a must read for every child. Highly recommended.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie A-M

    The dynamic duo team up once more to share the inner thoughts of a young artist capturing the world as he rides the New York City subway. Milo has a bag of crayons and a gigantic imagination. When Milo reaches his final destination I actually gasped. I am certain there will be many children who read this book who will feel seen and validated...they will see themselves in Milo. I read Last Stop on Market Street first and then Milo...I hope these two continue to work together. I like the character The dynamic duo team up once more to share the inner thoughts of a young artist capturing the world as he rides the New York City subway. Milo has a bag of crayons and a gigantic imagination. When Milo reaches his final destination I actually gasped. I am certain there will be many children who read this book who will feel seen and validated...they will see themselves in Milo. I read Last Stop on Market Street first and then Milo...I hope these two continue to work together. I like the characters they create...the bright and colorful world they share with the reader. Waiting for whatever they have planned next.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Maggi Rohde

    I can think of so many ways to use this book in teaching, but the most obvious one is to illuminate the writing process. Using sketching to write stories is something even our youngest students can do, but de la Peña's rich prose takes it to a new level. Persistence is needed when nobody can really understand what you do. And being willing to admit you were being unfairly biased is a skill we all need to practice. I look forward to reading it to myself a couple more times before sharing it with I can think of so many ways to use this book in teaching, but the most obvious one is to illuminate the writing process. Using sketching to write stories is something even our youngest students can do, but de la Peña's rich prose takes it to a new level. Persistence is needed when nobody can really understand what you do. And being willing to admit you were being unfairly biased is a skill we all need to practice. I look forward to reading it to myself a couple more times before sharing it with students.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Earl

    The words... The art... The art within the art... The story... The undercurrents... The reveals... And the revelations... So much to love about this book! Do not read the copyright page summary to fully experience the story.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mary Lee

    What a gift from the universe (and from two talented creatives)! Gorgeous and important. Just the right book to use in our exploration of bias/assumptions/stereotypes. EDITED TO ADD: Still 5/5 on the second reading!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Autumn

    Breathtaking, tbh.

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