Over The Shop
JonArno Lawson is an acclaimed Canadian poet and writer who has published several works of verse and books for children, including the award-winning Sidewalk Flowers, illustrated by Sydney Smith. JonArno Lawson lives in Toronto with his family.
Qin Leng is a designer and illustrator of children’s books. She has received many awards for her animated short films and her artwork. She lives in Toronto with her family.
In this wordless tale, a chosen family forms. . .A few carefully placed pride rainbows make queerness explicit: a barely noticeable rainbow belt; a rainbow hat, tiny in a distance shot; and, finally, an unmistakable (and unprecedented for this shop) rainbow flag hanging outside the business at the very end. Careful readers may deduce that the Asian tenant is a transgender man, signaled through an extremely subtle plot point. Poverty and the child’s early loneliness are subtle too, but warmth never is. A wordless, singing infusion of love and energy into a home. - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A dedication to trans activists and some characters who are nonbinary in dress and clothing make a simple message of love and acceptance resonate subtly. In this wordless book, there is comfort in familiarity, but sometimes a little change can shed new light on everything. . .This wordless story manages to speak volumes. Detailed images fill each page, requiring careful study and observation to understand the entire story. Multiple frames appear on each page, creating a more robust narrative than is often found in picture books. . .This meticulously detailed tale spreads a heartwarming message of renewal, hope, friendship, and compassion. - School Library Journal (starred review)
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