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The Day You Begin by [Jacqueline Woodson, Rafael López]

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The Day You Begin Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 6,780 ratings

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From the Publisher

2 1 1 4
The Year We Learned to Fly The Day You Begin El año en que aprendimos a volar El día en que descubres quién eres
More picture books from Jacqueline Woodson Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López's highly anticipated companion to their bestseller illuminates the power in each of us to face challenges with confidence. Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López have teamed up to create a poignant, yet heartening book about finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone. El muy esperado compañero a El Día En Que Descubres Quién Eres de Jacqueline Woodson y Rafael López, que logro el éxito de ventas número 1 del New York Times, ilumina el poder en cada uno de nosotros para enfrentar los desafíos con confianza. Ganadora del Premio Nacional del Libro, Jacqueline Woodson, y ganador dos veces del premio de ilustrador Pura Belpre, Rafael López, se han unido para crear un alentador libro sobre el descubrimiento del coraje, incluso cuando te sientes asustado.

Editorial Reviews


* “National Book Award winner and national treasure Jacqueline Woodson teams up with two-time Pura Belpré Award recipient Rafael López to deliver an empowering message to any child who has ever felt too different. . . . Woodson and López offer a needed message of comfort to preschool and early elementary students. Woodson's lulling free verse reassures the reader that the world will ‘make some space,’ while López's dreamy, near-translucent mixed-media illustrations thrum with playful joy. This gentle, powerful ode to diversity and acceptance belongs with all children.”—Shelf Awareness, starred review

 “A beautiful and inclusive story that encourages children to find the beauty in their own lives and share it with the world. . . . Each child feels very alone until they begin to share their stories and discover that it is nearly always possible to find someone a little like you. López’s vibrant illustrations bring the characters’ hidden and unspoken thoughts to light with fantastic, swirling color. Shifting hues and textures across the page convey their deep loneliness and then slowly transition into bright hopeful possibilities. Full-bleed illustrations on every page are thick with collaged patterns and textures that pair perfectly with melodic prose that begs to be read aloud. . . . There’s an essential acknowledgment that everyone will experience a time when no one is quite like them, when they can’t find their voice, or when they feel very alone. Woodson’s superlative text sees each character turn that moment of desolation into an opportunity to be brave and find hope in what they have in common. This masterful story deserves a place in every library.”—School Library Journal, starred review

“A bright jewel-toned palette and clever details, including a literal reflection of a better future, reveal hope and pride. . . . This reassuring, lyrical book feels like a big hug from a wise aunt as she imparts the wisdom of the world in order to calm trepidatious young children: One of these things is not like the other, and that is actually what makes all the difference. A must-have book about the power of one’s voice and the friendships that emerge when you are yourself.”Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Woodson’s poetic lines give power to each child’s experience. . . . López paints the book’s array of children as students in the same classroom; patterns and colors on the children’s clothing and the growing things around them fill the spreads with life. Woodson’s gentle, lilting story and López’s artistry create a stirring portrait of the courage it takes to be oneself.”Publishers Weekly, starred review

* “Woodson’s lyrical text is gently reassuring as it moves between broad discussion and specific examples of difference and discomfort, which emphasize children moving across cultures but will speak to children from all backgrounds and experiences. Mixed-media illustrations . . . combine bold with soft colors and textures in a slightly shaded tropical palette; compositions employ creative and insightful perspectives to suit the characters’ feelings. . . . The artist frequently incorporates a ruler into the illustrations, which perhaps speaks to the children’s perceptions of how they measure up to others. This lovely and sensitive treatment of adjustment deserves a spot in any collection for youngsters.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

“Woodson catches the uncertainty, even fear, that comes with new situations. But her lyrical language also captures the moment when confidence sparks and friendships are born. . . . The bold, bright artwork features a diverse cast of kids. . . . The important message plays out in a striking design that mixes the everyday with flights of fancy. Woodson, a recent National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, is one of kidlit's brightest stars, and this should find lots of eager hands.”—

“What will it take for a child who feels different to share her stories? . . . Like Woodson’s memoir
Brown Girl Dreaming, this story places great value on literacy, reading, and imagination. The matte-finished pages feature illustrations in vivid, brilliant colors, with repeated appearances of flying birds and lush, twining vines and flowers.”—Horn Book

About the Author

Jacqueline Woodson ( is the recipient of a 2020 MacArthur Fellowship, the 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award, the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and the 2018 Children’s Literature Legacy Award. She was the 2018–2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and in 2015, she was named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. She received the 2014 National Book Award for her New York Times bestselling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, which was also a recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award, a Newbery Honor, the NAACP Image Award, and a Sibert Honor. She wrote the adult books Red at the Bone, a New York Times bestseller, and Another Brooklyn, a 2016 National Book Award finalist. Born in Columbus, Ohio, Jacqueline grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from college with a B.A. in English. She is the author of dozens of award-winning books for young adults, middle graders, and children; among her many accolades, she is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a four-time National Book Award finalist, and a three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. Her books include Coretta Scott King Award winner Before the Ever After; New York Times bestsellers The Day You Begin and Harbor MeThe Other SideEach Kindness, Caldecott Honor book Coming On Home Soon; Newbery Honor winners FeathersShow Way, and After Tupac and D Foster; and Miracle's Boys, which received the LA Times Book Prize and the Coretta Scott King Award. Jacqueline is also a recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement for her contributions to young adult literature and a two-time winner of the Jane Addams Children's Book Award. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Rafael López won Pura Belpré medals for Drum Dream Girl and Book Fiesta, and has also received three Pura Belpré honors, two Américas Book Awards, and the 2017 Tomás Rivera Children's Book Award and Society of Illustrators Original Art Silver Medal. His work has been featured in Communication Arts, American Illustration Annual, Graphic Design USA and Huffington Post. He's a founder of San Diego's Urban Art Trail movement, created seven US Postal Stamps, and created official posters for the '08 and '12 Obama-Biden campaigns. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B077WXCGZC
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Nancy Paulsen Books (August 28, 2018)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ August 28, 2018
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 35600 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Not enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 32 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 6,780 ratings

About the authors

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Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
6,780 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on August 29, 2018
169 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 22, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read aloud for the joy & then pose questions for rich student-led conversations
Reviewed in the United States on September 22, 2018
The kind of book that makes you weep the first time you read it and then feel like you HAVE to read this aloud to the kids in your class, family, community. We are all unique or not quite like others--which can make us feel alone in the world UNTIL we start to share our stories, our lives with others. Then we find that we are similar in some ways to those around us or that others are open to the new world we might introduce to them.

Woodson's language is beautiful (of course) -
"There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you."
"There will be times when..."
"There will be times when the world feels like a place that you're standing all the way outside of..."
"There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you until the day you begin to share your stories."
YES! Read this aloud for pure enjoyment. And then read it aloud again and pose questions for student-led conversations--questions that could also lead to writing.
***Have you ever experienced a "There will be times when..."?
***What does the author mean when she writes "There will be times when the world feels like a place that you're standing all the way outside of"?
***Or a time when you only had your "brave self--steady as steel and ready" even though you didn't "know what you were ready for:?

Rafael's illustrations are stunning. With illustrations of each child in that place at that moment (e.g., the classroom, the playground), but then also illustrations of the richness of that child's life (e.g., Rigoberto in a beautiful Venezuela, a girl seeing the world through books, etc.). You could project a two-page layout and pose questions like,
***"What do you notice?"
***"What do you notice as similar and different between the illustrations with Rigoberto on this page and this page?"
***"Why do you think the illustrator chose to include that?"

Several pages include an image of a ruler--maybe to signify that a particular scene is in the school but it also made me think about the pressure on kids to "measure up" in many ways when they are at school. Might be worth conversation with students.

One more thought. Before reading aloud, ask students to make predictions based on the title. After reading this aloud, go back to the title and ask,
***"What does the author mean by 'the day you begin'?" and maybe even "How can we do that right now?"
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102 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on August 29, 2018
45 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 5, 2018
26 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 2, 2018
10 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 26, 2021
One person found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on March 23, 2022
Reviewed in the United States on August 16, 2020

Top reviews from other countries

Anna Banana
5.0 out of 5 stars Every person book about connection.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 19, 2020
J W.
2.0 out of 5 stars Nice message, but lost on the audience
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 30, 2019
One person found this helpful
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Kayleigh Howlett
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book. Beautiful illustrations.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 14, 2020
Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars This book touched me!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 13, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 29, 2020
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