My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It was nearly two years ago that the photo of Parker Curry standing in awe, gazing up at Amy Sherald’s painting of former First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. went viral, warming the hearts of countless people on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in 2018. I read on BuzzFeed News that the photo was captured by Ben Hines who was visiting his mom in Washington, D.C. from North Carolina at the time. They’d been in line right behind Parker’s family. As Ben told BuzzFeed, “I think we were all just smiling, and her joy and her awe was infectious.” His mom had gone on to say that, “…she had this wonder that was silent and yet seemed to be saying something very big at the same time” (Mack, David, 2018 BuzzFeed News).
Paker Curry is now four years old. She’s met and danced with Michelle Obama (March 2018), was a guest on The Ellen Show (March 2018), and most recently just published her first book with her mom, Jessica Curry (October 2019) who runs a motherhood and lifestyle blog called Happy Mama, Happy Babies.
Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment, is a beautiful recreation of one unforgettable day. It was the day her mom would take her to the museum, her sister Ava too. The halls of the National Portrait Gallery were like gateways to discovery. Parker, her sister, and her friend who’d met them there would not leave any corner unturned. “They saw prancing horses, blooming flowers, a bushy mustache” and so much more. They played and explored and took in all of the sights but there was one portrait that stood out among the rest and when she saw it, Parker “froze in her tracks, spellbound.” It was the portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama. “In that moment Parker saw more than just a portrait-she saw a road before her with endless possibilities.” This was one of my favorite lines. Possibility. It’s what’s at the heart of this extraordinary moment and together, Parker Curry, Jessica Curry, and Brittany Jackson have created a book that is filled with pure joy. It is one that I will be adding to our K-5 library collection.
Brittany Jackson is an award-winning illustrator and her work in Parker Looks Up is simply spectacular. Especially the sparkle in the eyes of the characters. They shine with brilliance, admiration, and wonder. I also appreciate the hairstyles. You’ll also find a note from Amy Sherald, the artist who painted the portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama, and then an annotated list of the paintings that are depicted and reimagined throughout.
Next, I want to read Hair Like Mine by LaTashia M. Perry because I really enjoyed Brittany Jackson’s illustrations. Have you read it?
Jessica Curry & Parker Curry | Happy Mama, Happy Babies
Brittany Jackson | https://www.beagifted.com/
An Imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Borrowed from the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library