Lift by Minh Lê with illustrations by Dan Santat


Everyone knows the power of simple pleasures. For Iris, it is the delight of pushing the elevator button. It is their routine whether leaving home or returning – it’s her job to send them on their way. Until one day, her watchful little brother leans forward and pushes the button before she can. Dan Santat’s keen eye for body language shows just how upsetting this new development is for Iris, even while the rest of the family celebrates the milestone. And it just keeps happening! No one, it seems, understands that small joy that has been taken from her. It is while she’s stewing on the problem that she discovers it – an elevator button discarded by the repairman. Sticking it to the wall by her closet, she discovers the ability to be anywhere but here. Again the illustrations are our guide through a wordless exploration – tigers in the jungle! Space stations! But when a familiar sound brings her home, she realizes that sharing simple pleasures doesn’t have to take them away, it can make them even more joyful. This is a great read for older siblings and fans of the imagination. Beautiful pictures, with lots of room to talk about what the stories are showing in Santat’s delightfully detailed illustrations. This author/illustrator pair still has the same magic as they did in 2018’s award-winning “Drawn Together.”  

Reviewed by Stephanie Reinhardt, Head of Hoyt Library