Maybe Something Beautiful – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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Title:  Maybe Something Beautiful, How Art Transformed a Neighborhood

Author: F. Isabel Campoy & Theresa Howell

Illustrator: Rafael Lopez

Publisher: HMH, 2016

Ages: 4-7

Themes: art, neighborhoods, communtiy

Genre: Based on a true story


In the heart of a grey city, there lived a girl
who loved to doodle, draw, color, and paint.
Every time she saw a blank piece of paper,
Mira thought to herself,
Hmm, maybe…
And because of this, her room was filled with color
and her heart was filled with joy.


Based on the true story of the colorful transformation of the East Village neighborhood in San Diego, California. Mira (which in Spanish means look/see) is a little girl who loves to create art. She lives in a gray city where she tries to share her art and change things, but her art is too little to make big changes. Then she meets a man, illustrator, Rafael Lopez (muralist) and his wife Candice, a graphic designer and community activist, who is creating huge murals and who allows Mira to help him. Soon other neighbors are helping and colors begin to fill the streets, creating a close-knit community.

Why I like this book:

The artwork, the joy, the unity, and the diversity in this book came together to make it a feast. It is all the more uplifting to know it was based on a true story. The end papers zing and the art is life-giving.


  • Would work great as a read-aloud as part of a community service project.
  • There are four pages of more information from the authors about the Urban Trail at the back of the book.
  • Paint a school mural together

Find more “Perfect Picture Book Friday” reviews at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog HERE.

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5 Responses to Maybe Something Beautiful – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Oh. My. I HAVE to get this. Thank-you so much!

  2. Patricia Nozell says:

    Wonderful review of a book I bought, it looks so beautiful, but haven’t read yet.

  3. Wendy Greenley says:

    I love that this is based on a true story. We can all do Big things.

  4. What a beautiful book. Thank you so much for featuring this story.

  5. Keila Dawson says:

    Adore this book, the characters and the message. Great pick Joanna.

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