DRAWING OUTDOORS

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Inside the small pastel-colored building, there’s not much: “A blackboard, some chairs.” Who stands at the doorway every morning? A teacher, and today she’s ready to lead the class outdoors. Behind her, a slew of students—of various skin tones and ages—trail. “We are explorers, we have papers, we have crayons.” What will the students observe and draw today? Among the trees, a Brontosaurus drinks from the river. Atop a grand rock, a Triceratops stands tall with a hen perched upon one of its horns. Later, a pack of pterodactyls blot out the sun, soaring among white clouds. Even a Tyrannosaurus rex makes an appearance—with a roar. Some students flee. “Only the bravest of us stay on and draw.” Another fanciful collaboration full of wonder, Buitrago and Yockteng’s (Wounded Falcons, 2021) latest boasts a deceptively straightforward premise that begs for rereads. The clean, vibrant artwork brings forth an idyllic landscape brimming with vast vistas hinting at the magical whimsy, which echoes across the small interactions among students in the background. Precise, sparse text (a translation provided once again by Amado) carries playfully from moment to moment. When class concludes at the end of the day, another inspiring school day seems right around the corner. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

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