On any given day in this idyllic suburban neighborhood, children play, plants are watered, and people come and go from houses. On this day, those ordinary things are happening—but also so much more. In two houses, side by side, a quiet waiting occurs. Two visitors arrive, each with a stethoscope and small bag. In one home, a racially diverse family of two women and three children has come to the sad decision that their beloved dog must be put to sleep. Meanwhile, next door, a brown-skinned man, woman, and child await the arrival of a new baby. Vucovi’s softly colored illustrations, rendered in subdued charcoal, pastel, watercolor, ink, and graphite, contrast the concurrent events. Perspective is anchored by the ominous, unifying presence of “Magnificent the Crow,” a bird that appears on the first page and departs in the final spread, providing readers with a safe distance from this universal but deeply intimate narrative. Profound in the way it underscores how “life-changing” events are happening all the time—even as regular life continues—this book is especially effective at communicating big, difficult concepts to children in terms they will understand, despite—or, perhaps, because of—being quiet and understated. Many will be moved by the artful book design and a thoughtfully simple text that delineate an extraordinary ordinary day.
– Booklist *Starred*, December 15, 2019