We are back for another Picture Book Highlight, where we put the spotlight on a brand-new book that has been ordered for all our libraries.
Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, is also known as a City of Murals thanks to Mural Arts, a program started in the early 1980s as an anti-graffiti initiative. Since then, Mural Arts has grown to become the nation's largest public art program, dedicated, as its website says, to the belief that art ignites change. At neighborhoods all around Philly, locals and visitors can find thousands of murals celebrating life, people, community, and events.
The idea that murals can be used as a way to revitalize communities is beautifully told in Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell, illustrated by Rafael López. In fact, the book is based on Mr. López’s successful effort in transforming a neighborhood in San Diego through the power of public art.
The story follows a little girl, in a very gray city, whose room is filled with light and color thanks to her art. She shares some of it with her neighbors but that is not enough to change their surroundings. Then a muralist comes forward and together the neighbors put brush to paint to make their city gray no more.
Look around for Philly’s wonderful murals and visit your neighborhood library to find this book and more!