I Make Space
I Make Space
I make space for my friends.
I make space to learn.
A young rabbit makes space for loved ones and self-care.
I Make Space uses spare, short sentences (there are fewer than 60 words in the entire book) to introduce the concept of leaving room for the important things in life. The text has a simple, predictable structure. Every sentence begins with “I [or We] make space” and concludes with a person, activity, or concept. The straightforward presentation contrasts with a concept that will be potentially challenging for young readers. Due to the topic, this lap book will require plenty of dialogic reading and discussion to aid children’s understanding. Very young readers will be drawn to the illustrations but will miss the message. Older readers who are developmentally ready to engage with the topic may be turned off by the simple text and babyish illustrations.
The style of digital art used in the book, which is reminiscent of some children’s television shows, will appeal to some young readers. The colour palette is comprised primarily of warm pastels making the illustrations engaging, but gentle. The illustrations do an overall good job of complementing the text, accurately reflecting the words while also adding to the story. For example, making space for cheese and crackers involves snacking inside a chair fort while a grown-up naps nearby. The spread for staying safe, however, does not clearly reflect the text. It is unclear what the children are staying safe from.
The limited cast is comprised entirely of animals such as rabbits, frogs and hedgehogs. The characters’ clothing and settings do not indicate cultural or religious diversity. There are no disabilities depicted, other than one character’s use of eyeglasses. The adults both have a slim build while the children are more rounded.
I Make Space is a potentially useful springboard for discussing an abstract concept.
Sadie Tucker is a children’s librarian at the Vancouver Public Library.