I’ve got a beautiful book for you today, my friends, A story of a little girl who has to renegotiate her world, powered by her imagination, we have Outside Amelia’s Window, by Caroline Nastro and Anca Sandu Budisan.
Outside Amelia’s Window, by Caroline Nastro/Illustrated by Anca Sandu Budisan, (March 2023, Two Lions),
$17.99, ISBN: 9781542027854
Amelia is a young girl with brand new neighbors, and they have two children to play with! But Amelia isn’t ready to play with them: “Not like she used to”; we discover that Amelia uses a wheelchair and Nastro’s storytelling gently helps us understand that this is a recent development. Losing herself in fantastic stories of dragons, wizards, and magic, Amelia keeps to herself until the day a bird takes one of her ribbons from her treasure box. Amelia, fascinated as the bird builds a nest and the hatchlings appear, reads about birds and allows herself to be transported through their travels. If the birds can travel further and further, pushing themselves a little more each time, maybe she can, too.
An moving, uplifting story about overcoming fear, Outside Amelia’s Window is beautifully illustrated in watercolor and pencils, creating dreamlike spreads that let us lose ourselves in Amelia’s stories and in the scenes outside her window. You can feel the breeze in the air as you hear the sounds of Amelia’s neighbors playing in their yard, and the “cheeps” of newly hatched redstart chicks. Watercolor pages from Amelia’s research on the birds provide a fun way to educate readers and creates beautiful texture. Endpapers display notes, reading, and toys from Amelia’s collection. Amelia’s imagination takes readers all over the world and to fantasy lands, while her story – overcoming fear and navigating her new reality – makes for a powerful, motivating tale. An excellent choice for picture book collections.
“An uplifting tale of birds and bravery.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A gentle reminder of the joy to be found in embracing adventure and expanding horizons.” —Booklist
Caroline Nastro was born and raised in New York City. Her first picture book, The Bear Who Couldn’t Sleep, illustrated by Vanya Nastanlieva, has been translated into three languages and was chosen as a Bank Street Best Picture Book of the Year in Spanish. Outside Amelia’s Window is Anca Sandu Budisan and Caroline Nastro’s second collaboration. Their first book, Fly, Little Bird, Fly!, was published in 2021. Caroline attended the Sorbonne University in Paris, France, and has a master’s degree in theater from Stanford University. She is an award-winning theater director and playwright. Learn more about the author at www.carolinenastro.com.
Anca Sandu Budisan was born in Romania and studied children’s illustration at Cambridge School of Art in England. She is the author and illustrator of the picture books Churchill’s Tale of Tails and The Astonishing Case of the Stolen Stories. She is the illustrator of the Lana Lynn series, written by Rebecca Van Slyke; Gnu and Shrew, written by Danny Schnitzlein; and Fly, Little Bird, Fly!, written by Caroline Nastro. She currently lives in Oregon. Learn more about the artist online at www.ancasandubudisan.com.