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This welcoming and joyful picture book reminds us that every moment can hold many surprises and to look for the wonder in every day.
Today may seem long before leaving for a summer vacation or short during the time away. The moments that make up the day are filled with surprises, joy, fun, and memories. This book guides young readers to keep their eyes and ears open so the day doesn’t slip by.
About the Author
Gabi Snyder is the author of several picture books, including Two Dogs on a Trike, Listen, Today, and Look. She studied psychology at the University of Washington and creative writing at The University of Texas and is a member of SCBWI. When she’s not writing, she loves taking nature walks, visiting Little Free Libraries, and baking sweet treats. She lives in Oregon with her family. Learn more at GabiSnyder.com.
Stephanie Graegin is the illustrator of numerous books for children, including Super Manny Stands Up! by Kelly DiPucchio; Water in the Park by Emily Jenkins; Happy Birthday, Bunny! by Liz Garton Scanlon; Peace Is an Offering by Annette LeBox; and Listen by Gabi Snyder. She earned her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her MFA in printmaking from Pratt Institute, and she currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. You can visit her at Graegin.com.
""A caring voice addresses a button-nosed, tousle-haired child, portrayed with brown skin, who packs a suitcase, then sits on it in a hall, “counting hours until you’ll see Pop-pop and your cousins again.” As the trip kicks off, the child’s perception of time depends on the feelings that accompany each moment. The day “takes FOREVER... when your parents yak-yak-yak with the neighbors.” When the family arrives, at last, at a summer cottage, excitement makes today seem as if it’s “passing in a flash”—until a wasp sting makes the child wish to “fast-forward away” from the day. Digitally finished multimedia artwork by Graegin mixes vignettes and full spreads to picture slice-of-life experiences among a cast portrayed with various abilities and skin tones. Snyder’s concentration on the sensate (“the smell of blueberry crisp”) leads to techniques for forming memories “you can visit again and again,” even when “today stretches long.” Back matter includes mindfulness exercises."
— Publishers Weekly
"A lesson in mindfulness is couched in a cozy story about a much-anticipated visit with extended family. At first, the child protagonist struggles with a seemingly interminable “today”: “Today stretches long…when you’re counting weeks to summer, counting days to your trip, counting hours until you’ll see Pop-pop and your cousins again.” With these lines, Snyder cleverly initiates a second-person narration to align readers with the protagonist. ?en, when the child’s parents finally stop their “yak-yak-yak[ing] with the neighbors,” the family drives to a picturesque lake house, where Pop-pop, cousins, and other relatives await. Graegin’s rendering of the peaceful, idyllic setting and her matter-of-fact depiction of an affectionate, multiracial family are warm and welcoming. Now time races by as the child frolics in the lake with cousins and later watches fireflies dot the yard, visually echoed by a string of fairy lights. A wasp sting is the only trouble spot to mar this happy, fleeting day, but grownups and sympathetic cousins ease the child’s pain. Fireworks cap off “the today you’ve been waiting for,” and then, staving off sorrow at book’s end, closing text reminds the child and readers alike that our favorite days can continue as “a memory you can visit again and again.” Thoughtful back matter offers tips for “appreciating the here and now” and using positive memories to ease anxiety and worries." MEGAN DOWD LAMBERT
— Horn Book
"Snyder showcases the anticipation and struggle of waiting for a particular “Today” to arrive; the days leading up to summer, vacation and reuniting with family can drag out so slowly, but a great Today will pass quickly. Yet the best Today can have ups and downs, be quiet or loud, and may turn into a memory that will last a lifetime. The book closes with a breathing exercise and a call to remember moments, be mindful, and to appreciate time as it passes. Peaceful pencil and watercolor illustrations, rendered mainly in blue and green, reinforce the serene feel of the story’s message. This is a difficult concept to illustrate to the very young, but Graegin and Snyder have created a starting point. VERDICT With the right leader or educator for simple guided meditation, this could serve as an excellent reminder to take things as they come, and of the importance of slowing down and appreciating time."
— School Library Journal
A child experiences time’s elasticity while waiting for, engaging in, and remembering a summer trip.
The young protagonist has brown skin and a face framed by wavy dark hair; no gendered pronouns are used to describe this child. According to the youngster, today seems to last forever when you’re counting the weeks until a family visit to Pop-pop’s or waiting in the car while “your parents yak-yak-yak with the neighbors” (one parent is brown-skinned; the other presents Asian). Time seems to race by when the child goes swimming at Pop-pop’s lake house—until the little one is stung by a wasp and wants nothing more than to get past that moment. Root beer and fireworks bring the child back to the present. Snyder’s descriptions ground the story in the scents and sounds of summer. Graegin’s palette, dominated by greens and blues, creates a peaceful atmosphere; her finely textured compositions depict an orderly world. The affection between the brown-skinned grandfather and child is evident, down to their matching yellow caps during the family picnic. Back home, when sleep is elusive and time stretches out again, the youngster practices breathing exercises while envisioning vacation scenes: “Remember today. / It’s yours to keep. / Always.” Children will relate to the protagonist’s varying feelings about time; parents wishing to reinforce the benefits of mindfulness will have a useful model.
Will help young readers learn to live in the moment and appreciate memories. (information on mindfulness) (Picture book. 4-6)
— Kirkus Reviews