Reviewed by Nell Beram
Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson’s Milo Imagines the World, like their justifiably celebrated Last Stop on Market Street, centers on a child’s regular ride on public transportation to a destination initially unknown to readers. But while Market Street‘s CJ asks his grandmother why they’re going where they’re going, Milo Imagines the World‘s chartreuse-capped, bespectacled young protagonist is resigned to his circumstance and the accompanying agitation: “These monthly Sunday subway rides are never-ending, and as usual, Milo is a shook-up soda.”
To pass the time while his older sister is absorbed by her phone, Milo people-watches, using a notebook to record the places he imagines his fellow passengers going after they reach their stops. For a boy wearing a suit and tie, Milo imagines “the clop clop clop of the horse-drawn carriage that will carry him to his castle.” For a trio of break-dancers who cavort in Milo’s train car and who, like him, aren’t white, he glumly foresees that “even after the performances are over, faces still follow their every move. When they walk down the electronics aisle at the department store./ When they cross into the fancy neighborhood.” Continue reading.
Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña
Published by Penguin on 2021
Genres: Art, Criminal Justice, Family, Incarceration
Reading Level: Grade K, Grades 1-2, Grades 3-5
Review Source: Shelf Awareness
Also by this author: Last Stop on Market Street, Love
The team behind the Newbery Medal winner and Caldecott Honor book Last Stop on Market Street and the award-winning New York Times bestseller Carmela Full of Wishes once again delivers a poignant and timely picture book that's sure to become an instant classic.
Milo is on a long subway ride with his older sister. To pass the time, he studies the faces around him and makes pictures of their lives. There's the whiskered man with the crossword puzzle; Milo imagines him playing solitaire in a cluttered apartment full of pets. There's the wedding-dressed woman with a little dog peeking out of her handbag; Milo imagines her in a grand cathedral ceremony. And then there's the boy in the suit with the bright white sneakers; Milo imagines him arriving home to a castle with a drawbridge and a butler. But when the boy in the suit gets off on the same stop as Milo — walking the same path, going to the exact same place — Milo realizes that you can't really know anyone just by looking at them.