Kirkus Reviews - Common Threads: Adam's Day at the Market
Kirkus Reviews (Jul 2019)
In this nearly wordless picture book, young Adam wanders away from his parents at the busy outdoor market, but diverse strangers help him find them again.Brown-skinned Adam wanders through Eastern Market with his mom, a dark-skinned woman wearing a blue hijab and long tunic, and his dad, a light-skinned man wearing a kufi and shalwar kameez. When he spots a scavenging blue jay, he follows it to watch it eat peanuts. He taps a woman from behind, asking, “Isn’t it neat, Mama?” But he is surprised when the woman turns around: Although her hair is covered and she wears a long, blue dress, it’s a kindly stranger, not his mom. Small vignettes show Adam wandering through the crowd at the adults’ waist level, repeatedly mistaking other grown-ups for his parents, often based on similar styles of dress whose variations indicate other cultures (for example, a habit, a head wrap, and a sari). As he keeps searching, the strangers begin searching for his parents too, resulting in a reunion in which all of the adults greet each other warmly. The colorful illustrations invite basic seek-and-find fun as well as offering meaning at a deeper level for readers who want to identify the cultures represented. An afterword titled “Becoming a Cultural Detective” asks readers to consider clothing as just one indication of identity and encourages cultural curiosity but does not identify the clothing and cultures in the book. A visual feast filled with food for thought.