Looking for Yesterday (Hardcover)
If yesterday was the best day ever, wouldn’t it be great to find a way to repeat it? A whimsical tale about happiness with sure appeal for science-minded kids — and wise grandparents — everywhere.
What could beat yesterday’s perfect day at the fair? Maybe nothing, one boy thinks, and he wishes he could go back and do it again. So he puts all his scientific knowledge to work, from stars to time machines to wormholes (is it possible he could find one in his garden?). He thinks that maybe Grandad could help him. But Grandad, in sharing some memories from his own past, reminds him that every new day brings the chance of a new adventure. With quirky illustrations imparting a sense of wonder, Alison Jay takes a fanciful look at being content in the here and now.
About the Author
Alison Jay has been illustrating picture books for some thirty years. She says that a radio program about time and space along with childhood memories of her rocket-engineer father inspired her to write and illustrate Looking for Yesterday. She lives in London.
The past can contain happy memories, but the present is just waiting to turn into something fun. Jay limits her signature crackle glaze to only the nostalgic parts, but all of the oil paint backdrops brim with nimble details, her inclusion of the surreal giving some paintings a gently Bosch-like air. This contemplative blend of philosophy, science, and whimsy will get readers thinking.
Their relationship is warmly drawn as Granddad recalls a string of his own glorious days (“I have laughed until dawn with friends old and new”). They look through his sepia-tinted photo album, and he offers grandfatherly advice: memories are grand, “but every day brings the chance of a new adventure.” Whether or not the moral persuades, the story’s energy lies in its science fiction speculation, including the exciting possibility of shrinking to “one billion trillion trillionths of a centimeter.”
A wonderful choice for one-on-one sharing that demonstrates the value of science and contains a weighty message for both child and adult.
—School Library Journal