Maybe Something Beautiful: The Inspirational Power of Art

Each time I read this year’s Read for the Record book, Maybe Something Beautiful/Quizás Algo Hermoso by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell and illustrated by Rafael López, I am struck by the colors, life, and joy that spill out of the pages of this story. Maybe Something Beautiful is not merely a book about art, it is a piece of art itself.

Robert L. Lynch, the president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, once said “The arts empower. The arts give a voice to the voiceless. The arts help transform American communities and, as I often say, the result can be a better child, a better town, a better nation and certainly a better world. Let’s champion our arts action heroes, emulate them and make our communities everything we want them to be.”

As the artist in the book reminds us, “You, my friends, are all artists…. The world is your canvas.” To me, this is also the message of Read for the Record: that through stories, imagination, and art, through strong collaborative partnerships and the enthusiasm and participation of people all across the country, we can envision and bring to life a world that’s better for all of our children, families, and communities.

I love that this year’s Read for the Record campaign serves not only to highlight the importance of early literacy and language, but that it does this through the lens of art and the power that art has to transform communities, children, and the world. Through their book, Campoy, Howell, and López push our beliefs about how things are or should be — whole pages open up to be read vertically, rather than horizontally, for example — and encourage us to think about what could be. As the artist in the book reminds us, “You, my friends, are all artists…. The world is your canvas.” To me, this is also the message of Read for the Record: that through stories, imagination, and art, through strong collaborative partnerships and the enthusiasm and participation of people all across the country, we can envision and bring to life a world that’s better for all of our children, families, and communities.

I am so excited to see the art and creativity that Maybe Something Beautiful inspires in all of you this year: your murals and renditions of Mira’s bird, and the ways you transform your homes, classroom walls, and communities with colors and life inspired by the book. You can download some of our suggested art activities here or create your own. Don’t forget to share all of your amazing creations with us on social media using the hashtag #ReadfortheRecord!

Happy Reading!

President & CEO at Jumpstart

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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