I’m long overdue for a picture book review! It’s gonna be a short one since picture books, by the nature, are short, too, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have things to say about this particular book!
In “A New Day” by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Dan Santat, Sunday is feeling underappreciated and over worked and has decided to quit being a day of the week in order to find herself (she says she has things she wants to learn… like sugar art). After she quits, the remaining days decide to go looking for a replacement for their friend Sunday and they go out, putting up posters to find a new day of the week. And the auditions for the role… well… they get a LITTLE out of hand, ESPECIALLY after Friday posts the auditions online. Will the days find someone to be the new Sunday amongst the chaos of the audition process?
As a grown up, I particularly LOVED Meltzer’s and Santat’s cheeky references to pop culture that were interspersed throughout the text – off brand super heros, Shark Week, zombies, puns, a random references to the book “Caps for Sale’, and even a character locked in a block of gelatin that looked slightly Dr. Who dalek-y to me. I also loved the ALMOST “I’m Batm–” with Monday interrupting to remind them that they’ll get sued! Santat gives each day of the week a unique look and personality (in rainbow format) and I know that me and my girl Thursday could hang out anytime. A great book for the elementary aged crew and up (although may of the pop culture references may go over most kiddo’s heads).
- Funny references might be missed by the younger crowd… but this could also be seen as a delight? I like them, but just know that what an older reader may find funny a younger one may not.
- Following the text may be harder on younger readers to are trying to go it solo. There’s a mix of speech bubbles and traditional paragraphs and while Santat has done a good job making them fairly clear in what order to read them, some are going to struggle.
- I wish I got MORE from the other days of the week as far as character and personality. Santat has done what he can, but I wish there was more story for them!
- Pop culture references are on point.
- The chaos, as illustrated by Santat, is a wonderful cacophony of weird day day suggestions that start pretty normal and then veer off to the absurd. I love a good diverse side character hustle and Santat delivers a huge variety of people (and animals) in vivid color illustrations.
- And Meltzer stops the crazy soon enough that we still get a good moral message about kindness, appreciation, and togetherness at the end of the book.