The Can Man

By Maw Books Blog

There were several things that I liked about this picture book.

One – the oil paintings. I really like the look of fine art where you can see the canvas texture and brush strokes. It’s warm, simple and straightforward.

Two - Tim’s mother is Asian and his father African-American. I liked that.

Three – The Can Man wasn’t some crazy homeless guy on the sidewalk who everybody was scared of. He was just a really nice guy who happened to be down on his luck. In fact, Tim’s parents knew him prior to his collecting cans, when he used to live in their building. He was somebody who in tough times was being resourceful and trying to do whatever he had to do to support himself.

And four – I liked that The Can Man didn’t get upset with Tim when he began to take his cans. Tim probably should have known better but The Can Man took it all in stride. And when Tim decides to think twice about his redemption money and that The Can Man likely needs it more than him, The Can Man is very thoughtful in saying thank you.

And last – It’s a book which easily could turn into a lecture but rather it brings the social commentary about homelessness and poverty to the forefront of the story without being in your face. It’s a story of kindness and respect. Of doing the right thing when perhaps you didn’t know that’s what you set out to do in the first place. —Maw Books Blog