John's Turn Book
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RELEASE DATE - 2 MARCH 2023
Reading level - 3 to 6 years.
E. B. White Read-Aloud winner Mac Barnett celebrates individuality in a story told with tenderness and subtlety.
It’s John’s big day at school today – a performance for Sharing Gifts time. His bag is carefully packed and prepared, his classmates are ready, and the curtain is waiting to open. John is nervous, looking out at all the other children staring back at him. But he takes a big breath and begins.
Mac Barnett’s compassionate text and Kate Berube’s understated and expressive art tell the story of a kid who finds the courage to show others his talent for dancing.
"Employing sweet humour and sensory detail, Barnett (What Is Love?) and Berube (Second Banana) convey the unexpected beauty of a school performance. . . in a breathlessly kinetic, wordless sequence, spreads show John turning, leaping, and landing, light as a feather. . . The story’s collective, omniscient voice and graceful illustrations, wonderfully reminiscent of The Philharmonic Gets Dressed, portray a community that stays open and curious―and a child who shares their effort with brave vulnerability."
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Barnett and Berube offer a sensitive story about a boy grappling with stage fright and insecurity. . . . Barnett and Berube bring mastery of craft as well as an understanding of human nature to offer a fresh take on a familiar trope."
The Horn Book (starred review)
"Berube’s warmly coloured illustrations capture how John’s apprehension turns to confidence and even elation as he dances; his facial expressions and body language are spot-on. Much of this perfectly paced book is devoted to John’s performance, including five elegantly and economically composed, almost wordless spreads. . . . John faces down his fear to share his gift with determination, beauty and a style that is all his own. A true gift, indeed."
BookPage (starred review)