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Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood
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Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  2,587 ratings  ·  521 reviews
What good can a splash of color do in a community of gray? As Mira and her neighbors discover, more than you might ever imagine! Based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, California, Maybe Something Beautiful reveals how art can inspire transformation and how even the smallest artists can accomplish something big. Pick up a paintbrush and join the celebr ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,587 ratings  ·  521 reviews

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Dave Schaafsma
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Each year I and my family read and rate all the Goodreads picture book nominees. This one is nominated for 2016. I make a few comments and then add their separate ratings and a comment from each of them. There's 20 (15 first round and 5 new ones for the semi-final round) and this is the seventeenth being rated. My rating might be somewhat influenced by the family, naturally.

Dave: 4 stars. Inspirational story based in part on the actual transformation of an East Village neighborhood in San Diego
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Based on the true story of the colorful transformation of the East Village neighborhood in San Diego, California, this picture book shows how art can impact quality of life. Mira 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 who is creating huge murals and who allows Mira to help him. Soon other neighbors are helping and colors begin to fill the streets, cr ...more
Joyce Yattoni
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
#bookaday So many possibilities with this book. A great stepping off point for a community service project.
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Based on a true story of the transformation of the East Village near downtown San Diego. Illustrator Rafael López created the original murals, along with members of the community. The book’s illustrations are vibrant and beautiful, filled with possibility and hope. The text is simple enough this book could be shared for preschool story time, or in a K – 1st grade class. Maybe it will inspire kids to try this in their own neighborhoods!
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Artists / Readers Looking for Children's Stories About Art
A young girl named Mira, who takes pleasure in creating beautiful, vibrantly colorful works of art, and giving them to her neighbors, tapes one of her paintings on a neighborhood wall one day, and the results are magical. A muralist appears the next day, and using her painting as a starting point, creates a gorgeous mural that transforms the gray neighborhood, and involves everybody in the project. From one small idea, maybe something beautiful will arise...

Inspired by the true story of Rafael L
This story stars young Mira, a girl who can't stop seeing beauty even though her neighborhood is grey. She draws and paints constantly and shares her art with others. When she meets up with a muralist, the two of them bring something beautiful to the neighborhood and chase away the grey. The book includes a section in the back that tells the true story of Rafael and Candice Lopez, who used murals to transform the East Village neighborhood of San Francisco into something bright and engaging.

My da
Beth P
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The endpapers and title page art grabbed me immediately, but the beautiful words and illustrations continued to pull me in. I love that Mira views herself as an artist. I love that at one point in the story, music begins playing in my head, and with a single page turn, it abruptly stops. I love that back matter is included to explain the story behind the book. I love that by reading this book I want to hop on a plane to admire the The Urban Art Trail. This will definitely be a book that encourag ...more
May 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
"You, my friends,are all artists, he told them. "The world is your canvas." ...more
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, colourful book about the importance of art, and music, and community, and dancing, and kindness.
Kaethe Douglas
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
#5 in 365 Kids Books challenge and bid to get back on the Top 100 Readers list for full explanation see my review for 101 Amazing Facts about Australia

Gorgeous.I wasn't previously aware of Lopez' work, so I am doubly delighted: this isn't the only book he's illustrated. So yay, more books for the list. Telling the story through a focus on Mira makes it engaging for a young audience and keeps the story simple and metaphorical. And there's back matter giving the real story.

The only thing I could a
La Coccinelle
Oct 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: children, non-fiction
This is an interesting picture book based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego.

While I appreciate the story and the illustrations (they're vibrant and highly appealing), I'm a bit disappointed in the way this book doesn't address the legality of painting public spaces. Readers might be left with the impression that you can just go around painting walls, utility boxes, and benches wherever you like (when, in many places, you'd need permits... lest you be charged with vandalism).
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
With each season of the year, even in those months when the outside world is sleeping, nature sends us color. It may only be a flash of rich red from a swooping cardinal or vivid blue from a chattering jay, but its vibrancy is a message. It's a reminder of associating color with the excitement of being fully alive.

Not only does Mother Nature send us little pieces of color when there is nearly none but the burst of hues from one season to the next or from a dry spell ended with a rain storm seems
Illustrated by the muralist whose work inspired the book, Maybe Something Beautiful is about the Urban Art Trail in San Diego and the vision of the community there to transform their drab, grey cityscape into something beautiful and meaningful. From calligraphy poems on the sidewalk to murals that "lit up like sunshine," the project involved everyone - from police officers to schoolteachers to children - and is a testimony to the power of art, imagination, creativity, and what people can do when ...more
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, art
A wonderful picture book about how art, colour, and imagination can revitalise a neighbourhood and bring a community together. Miss 3 and I have read a few picture books with that kind of theme; what sets this one apart is that it is based on a true story. I appreciated the text of the Afterword and Miss 3 liked the photos.
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, storybook
A touching and hopeful story about how small actions can make a big difference and how about the ways a community can come together through art. The fact that the book is based on true story made it that much better.
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story about color and community!
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Colorful Picture Book

A colorful story about a young girl living in a bleak urban community. She and an artist befriend each other and begin creating murals on walls, circuit boxes and anywhere they can brighten up their homes.
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book tells the story of Mira, a little girl who lived “in the heart of a gray city,” but who loved to draw and fill her room with color. She decided to pass her pictures around to share the joy she got from brightly colored art.

One day she encountered an artist and he helped her paint bright colors on a wall, making it light up like sunshine. Other people soon joined in, drawing pictures on the bricks, adding “color, punch, and pizzazz!” As more and more people participated, “Color spread
Natalie Mayur
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This realistic fiction children’s book is a great option for lower elementary students (kindergarten through second grade). Within the story, you meet Mira, who lives in a gloomy city and enjoys painting colorful pictures for her neighbors. One day, a muralist invites her to paint on the walls of the neighborhood to help “brighten things up”. Pretty soon, various neighbors of different backgrounds and ages are all chipping in and having a blast while making their community beautiful by painting, ...more
Tricia Douglas
This book is based on a true story. An area near downtown San Diego, CA was plain and gray. One day Rafael and Candice Lopez had the idea to bring people together to decorate the area. Rafael has done the illustrations for the story and they are wonderful! This would be a great book to have in schools and libraries. "All of us are artists and the world is our canvas." ...more
Lesley Burnap
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Wherever Mira and the man went, art followed like the string of a kite." Heart-warming story loosely based on true events in a San Diego neighborhood. Beautifully illustrated by the "inspiration for the character of the muralist." ...more
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was expecting more from this book. The real life description at the end of the book is way more impressive than the picture book itself. It is a nice idea but vague and not very dynamic as a children's book. ...more
Annalise Nakoneczny
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Okay, fine, every book I read this week made me cry. This was so very sweet, the story of a community coming together to make the world brighter. This is based on a true story and the illustrator is the real life muralist the book is based on!
Sue Mosher
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful true story about a community art project in San Diego. Wonderful!
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
bookaday #53. outstanding art work - by the muralist the book is loosely based upon - urban art trail movement started in San Diego. Wish it was available in Spanish.
Kelsey Brice
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
The book Maybe Something Beautiful is a realistic fiction book that can inspire anyone at any age to be a kind and joyful addition to their community. This book displays magnificent colors and pictures in the illustrations that really draw the reader in. I read this book as an e-book so I can only imagine how the color pops on a page in a book. I really enjoyed this book as an adult, however, for instructional purposes I would recommend this book for a third grade classroom.

In this story we see
Feb 25, 2019 added it
Shelves: diverse-books
"Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood" by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell (Rivera Book Award: 2017 Award Winner)

Concerning a text-to-self connection, Mira reminded me a great deal of my cousin, Megan. This picture book caused me to reflect upon my early childhood, and my longing to be “more like my older cousin.” It was often stated by many family members, that Megan had such promising artistic talents. Each time I stepped into her bedroom, it was as if I was transp
Olivia Bunemann
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elm-335
“Maybe Something Beautiful” by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell
Genre: Info Texts
Grade: K-3

Children love to create and live in a world full of color and that was true for Mira. The main character in “Maybe Something Beautiful” loved to doodle, draw, color and paint. She took every piece of blank paper she saw and filled it with color. Mira gave her works to the shop owner and the woman on the street as she ran to school along with another man and a police officer. To make her gray city a mor
McKenzie Weed
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elm-335
Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by Isabel Campoy is an inspiring picture book for all ages. Even as a 2o year old I absolutely loved this book, however, I could see this book as best fit in a 3rd grade classroom. Although I read this book as an e-book, the illustrations really made the story come alive.

This book focuses on how a small girl's actions brought happiness to an entire town. This is not a true story but it falls under the genre of Realistic Fiction becau
Ivy Armitage
Maybe Something Beautiful reminds me of the book City Shapes by Diane Murray. The characters in both of these books are little girls with creative minds. The character in Maybe Something Beautiful finds a way to make her city and neighborhood more colorful and beautiful to look at by creating art and painting murals on buildings. The character in City Shapes also finds beauty when looking at her city, but she does so by focusing on all the different shapes surrounding her that make t
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F. ISABEL CAMPOY is the author of numerous children’s books in the areas of poetry, theatre, stories, biographies, and art. As a researcher she has published extensively bringing to the curriculum an awareness of the richness of the Hispanic culture. She is an educator specialized in the area of literacy and home school interaction, topics on which she lecturers nationally. An internationally reco ...more

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