Our current library haul is a myriad of colours and delightful illustrations. Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood, by F. Isabel Campoy, Theresa Howell, and Rafael López, is just that—something incredible beautiful.

It’s based on the true story behind the transformation of East Village near downtown San Diego. Think, The Night Gardener, but in the city. A young girl named Mira loved to “doodle, draw, color, and paint.” Her room was filled with colour, while outside her window was grey and dull. To bring some colour to her city, Mira shared her creations. An artist felt inspired by her work, and began to paint on a wall. “BAM! POW! The shadows scurried away. Sky blue cut through the gloom. The man’s laughter was like a rainbow spreading across the sky.” Mira joined in, others in her neighbourhood too. They danced and painted. Colour and joy illuminated the city.

The work of Rafael Lopez is bright, bold, expressive. While reading this book you feel the beat of the music, sense the movement of each brush, see the explosions of colour. “YOW-WEE!” You just wanna join in. Maybe Something Beautiful is an inspiring story about the power of art, seeing beauty, sharing, caring, being unified, and spreading joy.


  • Published by HMH Books for Young Readers
  • 4-8 years
  • 4