Jacqueline Woodson books are not easy to review. Given their length, it may make you think otherwise, but the words of other writers don't do them justice. It's hard to deny that the woman has a way with words, and her devoted fans would continue to flock to her work even if she came out with a 600+ page book. But how does she handle the picture book? Considering the strength of "Show Way," I would say she handled it considerably well.
Woodson does what she does best here: she keeps the story short and sweet. Ages 4 to 104 will be able to handle this story with no difficulty. It's written remarkably well for a picture book, which is probably why it got a Newbery Honor; in recent years, how many other picture books have had such a privilege? Not many, and that is one thing that makes this book stand out.
The art, however, does play a important part in the story. I know the Committee doesn't consider the artwork when discussing potential books to award, but really, it's impossible to talk of the book without it. Though a book about the same subject that was just two-hundred or so pages of text would have been pretty swell, the subject matter does lend itself pretty well to picture book form. The colors are vivid and the drawings beautiful, which makes the book eye-catching.
All I can really say is that nothing about this book displeases me. It is probably my favorite of all of Woodson's books, and not because it's the shortest. It's an example of everything she does best in her storytelling, and it's very much deserving of the Newbery Honor it got. Highly recommended for all collections.