Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood

Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood
Written by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell, Illustrated by Rafael Lopez

Publisher’s Summary:
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 celebration!

Primary Source Pairing:
This beautiful picture book will inspire students to become artists. After reading the book, use the end papers as a gateway into a conversation about how art and artists changed the East Village San Diego neighborhood. Compare the beginning endpapers with the final endpapers. What changed? Cite text and visual evidence. For the primary source pairing, invite students to connect what they learned in the book while analyzing a photograph of a mural in the East Village neighborhood. Additionally, visit the Maybe Something Beautiful website for more information and resources. Finally, illustrator and mural creator Rafael Lopez’s website has a beautiful online gallery of his work.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Describe what you see.
  • What do you notice first?
  • What is the physical setting?
  • Why do you think this image was made?
  • Who do you think was the audience for this image?

Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Mural: Maybe Something Beautiful website