Everyone by Christopher Silas Neal [in Booklist]
As diverse and unique as each of us are, some traits are shared by everyone. Christopher Silas Neal (Over and Under the Snow, 2011) makes his solo debut here, channeling a boy who is learning to accept and appreciate his own emotions, and, in the process, reminds us how everyone takes turns being happy, sad, frustrated, frazzled, and even just plain bananas. “Everyone has feelings,” says the boy, “and that’s OK.”
Neal’s palette of blue, black, and peachy flesh tones adds a jaunty innocence to his childlike drawings, which include anthropomorphic flowers singing along to bee-buzzing accompaniment, a chorus of cuddly animals, and an oversize bear providing an enveloping hug. While the boy enjoys his nonhuman playmates, other people are never far, seen through windows in nearby buildings and on rooftops in the midst of their daily lives. That the boy never interacts with any of the ‘everyone’s, however, ultimately feels more blue than buoyant.
Review: modified from “Books for Youth,” Booklist Online, February 12, 2016