Lift

  • Title: Lift
  • Author: Minh Le
  • Illustrator: Dan Santat
  • Publisher: Disney/Hyperion
  • Publication year: 2020
  • Brief Summary: From Amazon-“Iris loves to push the elevator buttons in her apartment building, but when it’s time to share the fun with a new member of the family, she’s pretty put out. That is, until the sudden appearance of a mysterious new button opens up entire realms of possibility, places where she can escape and explore on her own. But when she’s forced to choose between going at it alone or letting her little brother tag along, Iris finds that sharing a discovery with the people you love can be the most wonderful experience of all.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – I think this book could work for very young children through to 1st grade. I found this article from The Roarbots website which is an interview with Le and Santat on what they believe the lesson of this book is, what they hope kids take away from this book, and why the ending of the book matters (Iris finally taking her brother with her on her magical trip). I do think the message of this book, that children need a little bit of boredom to use their imagination is important. As Santat reiterates in this interview: “Rather than allowing our kids to have quiet time to discover their own interests and just simply be bored, we’re constantly trying to mold our kids into something or actively trying to discover their passions for them. Boredom was the single greatest gift from my childhood.” And I think that’s what makes this book important to include for children, rather as a read aloud in a public library, or using it to start a discussion with a class of children on what they enjoy doing, what their hobbies are (outside of playing on a computer).
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it – I really loved Santat’s illustrations. It’s like a mix between a comic book (or graphic novel) and a picture book. For me, it reminds me a lot of the action of the Pixar movie The Incredibles. My favorite illustration is of Iris holding her baby brother’s hand as he clutches his stuffed tiger (incidentally Iris’s used-to-be stuffed tiger) staring at he magical doorway with the old elevator switch taped next to it.

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