"Great things begin with small bricks." This is what Brick's mother tells her when Brick is just a baby, awed by the huge buildings in her city. Prompted to look closer, Brick finds the homes on her street, the fire station, the schoolhouse and the post office are all "made out of bricks just like her." She wonders if there are bricks in all the streets, in all the towns and even "across the ocean, in lands far away?" Most especially, Brick wonders where she, herself, will fit in. "What great thing might she become?"
When Brick sets sail on a wondrous journey, she sees castles scarred by "years of fighting," "fantastic churches," "splendid synagogues" and a "towering Buddhist temple." None feel like home, so she continues on. She visits the Great Wall, apartment buildings and brick homes in towns and country. But nothing is right for Brick. She feels lost until she returns to her mother's earlier advice: great things begin with small bricks.
For anyone who's ever wondered where life will take them, and especially for little ones who can only dream of what the wide world holds, Brick's story will advise and inspire. Each structure she visits is identified as a real place, which grounds the story while also expanding its scope. Illustrations are rendered appropriately in oranges and reds and make excellent use of white space. A delicate black line describes the architecture with dexterity, allowing readers a glimpse of wonders that may await on their own journeys as they root for Brick to succeed on hers. Ultimately, Brick learns she must let go of her worries before reaching a place where she can be part of a "wide and lovely" whole, arriving at what is perhaps, for her, "the perfect place to be." --Lynn Becker, blogger and host of Book Talk, a monthly online discussion of children's books for SCBWI