The Can Man

By Washington Parent

Sensory details—the seasonal chilliness, the dampness of rain, the clank of cans and stink of garbage—help the reader enter the scene and, like Tim, experience empathy for Mr. Peters. The oil paintings add to this effect, visually contrasting the boy’s thick, bright jacket to the man’s thin, tattered coat, the warmth of Tim’s kitchen to the rainy streets of The Can Man. This compassionate, skillfully written story builds to a satisfying, believable conclusion—and gives young readers much to think about and act upon.