The Neighbors

Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers

Review

The little girl in this book lives on the top floor of a seven-storey building. On the way up the stairs to her apartment, she imagines all the crazy situations that might be going on behind each door: a door with lots of security locks must belong to a family of thieves; perhaps the second door, always surrounded by muddy footprints, is the home of an ancient explorer and his pet tiger. But are her parents (in their very normal apartment) as boring as she thinks they are?

The colours in Einat Tsarfati’s illustrations are graphic and bold while simultaneously creating sophistication in a book with minimal text. The Neighbors is cool, original and simple, presenting a character’s very simple journey up the stairs, but somehow also expressing ideas about difference, tolerance and the sheer variety of lives lived within one small space.

This would be a great book to use as the focus for some imaginative projects about the families that might all live within a block of flats, or to use as a prompt for talking about diversity and inclusion.

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