Lily is taking a trip out to Iowa to live with her Gram. It’s a big trip and they start in the dark before sunrise. Lily feels uncertain about going to this “empty” land and so Gram decides they should try to find ten beautiful things before they get home.
This is a lovely quiet book that highlights the beauty of everyday things. The beauty of that “empty” land. The words pull you along gently, not encouraging a rushed read, so that it’s easy to take the time to soak in the illustrations and travel along with Lily as she finds her own emptiness filled. I love the part that talks about how beauty is not the same as pretty, because beauty is all around us if we look for it.
The illustrations do a wonderful job of the variety in those vast farmlands of Iowa. The gurgling brook, the singing red-winged blackbird, the dark storm clouds that rise up on the horizon. The art is more rounded and soft than strictly realistic, which feels like we’re seeing it through the eyes of Lily and helps that emotional connection between the reader and the character.
This is a sweet cuddle-up read for everyone, but especially those who love living in the rural midwest will enjoying reading this. It’s about Lily’s emotional journey, but it also is a bit of a love letter to farm land.