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Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2017 Generous, kind-hearted Wilson’s elderly neighbor Gigi has a home in desperate need of rehabilitation, and he discovers the perfect plan: a community program where neighbors pitch in to do yard work and home repair. Wilson keeps his plan a secret, instead telling Gigi about all the nice things he’d fix at her house one day. “One day . . . I will build a fence around the yard so you can have a dog to keep you company.” With every new plan, Gigi and others remind him that, no matter what Gigi’s house is like, his friendship is a precious gift nonetheless. Diaz’ mixed-media illustrations, rendered in bold, saturated colors, engagingly depict Wilson and Gigi’s vibrant, multicultural neighborhood, and her expressive faces reveal a nice depth of emotion, particularly Gigi’s surprise when Wilson’s plans eventually become a reality, with the help of the whole neighborhood. This bright, happy story with an affirming conclusion emphasizes the value of a supportive community and offers young readers tangible ways they can take action in their own neighborhoods. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 09/01/2017 K-Gr 3—One day, Wilson promises to paint Gigi's house "orange and yellow like the sun." The older woman is pleased and responds, "But today, you are all the sunshine I need." Wilson's ideas for his friend's home are supported by people in the neighborhood, from the ice cream vendor to the local librarian, and even his classmates and teacher. Time and seasons pass, until that one day arrives and the community comes together to repair and spruce up Gigi's house and yard. The story begins before the title page when Wilson comes across a sign at the local La Luna Cafe. He tears off the phone number encouraging people to "Fix a neighbor's home together!" Richly colored mixed-media collage illustrations call to mind folk art, naive in tone but effectually depicting the neighborhood and its residents. Images of Wilson's vision for Gigi's home are interspersed and appear to done by a child with handwritten notes on the side. This is a warm story based on the author's experience in cooperative neighborhood efforts. VERDICT A useful and appealing story that provides a great sense of community. An inspirational choice to read aloud or one-on-one.—Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.