by Maurie J. Manning
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012
unpaged picture book
A young shoeshine boy wanders through the bustling streets of turn-of-the-century New York City. Disheartened when no one wants a shine, the little boy slumps down on the sidewalk. A piece of red cloth floats down from the sky landing on his shoulders immediately lifting his spirits as well as his curiosity. Peering up at the many lines of laundry strung between the buildings he decides to go in search of the owner of the beautiful red fabric. As he climbs the fire-escapes he asks all he encounters if they are the owners of the cloth. Each person he visits represents a different culture, age and occupation. When he reaches the top of the building and discovers where the red scarf came from he is in for a pleasant surprise, and a reward. This beautiful picture book depicts the melting-pot community that helped make New York City what it is today. The layout of the book is very appealing as well: some pages are in panels like a graphic novel, others are wordless, telling the story just with the illustrations and the perspectives drawn show literally every angle of the street possible. It would be great to see this title on the Caldecott list next year!