This article appeared in the July 15, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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A daughter, a dad, and a book for each day

Courtesy of Kristin Corcoran/Booked Out
Author and illustrator Matt Zurbo.

Welcome to the Monitor Daily. Today we’re covering the normalization of harsh political rhetoric, the cool calm of New Orleans amid Hurricane Barry, Canada’s indigenous reconciliation efforts, farmers and mental health, and a Chicago photographer who bridges racial divides.

But first: Children often bring out the storyteller in adults. But when Matt Zurbo met his new daughter, Cielo, that phenomenon rose to new heights: He decided to write 365 books in 365 days for her. And to share them with us. For free. On top of his day job as an oyster farmer.

Mr. Zurbo, who is on Day 336, is not your typical writer of children’s books. Although he has published nine, he notes on his website that he has “spent most of his life working in hard jobs in remote bush throughout Australia.” But Cielo’s arrival prompted him to ponder the world she would grow up in – and create a tribute to the power of imagination. “Imagination trumps violence,” he writes. “Through imagination we build a better planet. I hope this ode, done out of love, brings you joy!”

Read “The World’s Smallest Sound” or “The Kid Ghosts Were Scared Of” or “Monster Pants” (and Mr. Zurbo’s ideas for illustrating them), and your childhood and adult selves will likely succumb in short order to Mr. Zurbo’s magical sense of humor and wonder. Be careful: That may soften some edges, break down some barriers, and even expand some outlooks – reminding us of how the world can look if we try to see it through the eyes of a child.

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This article appeared in the July 15, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 07/15 edition