Parents want to develop kindness and generosity of spirit in their children. The One Day House by Julia Durango, illustrated by Bianca Diaz, is a wonderful launching pad to start children on a trajectory of altruism.
Young Wilson has an elderly friend, Gigi. Wilson notices some things around Gigi’s house aren’t quite right: The house paint is dull; there isn’t a fence for a pet; animals snuggle cozily in the chimney; and the piano is out of tune. Wilson tells Gigi that one day he would like to fix these things for her. Gigi warmly replies that Wilson is what brightens her days, and that he is all the company and warmth she needs. He is what creates the music in her heart. However, Wilson tells everyone what he plans to do—one day. Wonderfully, “one day” arrives with Wilson and the diverse community working together to fulfill Wilson’s entire wish list, giving Gigi a fully repaired, bright golden house.
Vividly illustrated collages (using watercolors, gouache, bright acrylic colored paints, ink, pencils, crayons, markers, cut-out pictures and photo transfers) create the illusion that Wilson created the plans for Gigi’s house. The end papers look like homemade paper, with bits of newsprint showing through. All the artwork evokes a homey, happy vibe, like the spirit of helpfulness in Wilson and Gigi’s community.
The final pages offer suggestions of ways young people can get involved in their own neighborhoods, to create “one days” in their own communities.