A Is for Ambitious

Little, Brown. (Ambitious Girl: Bk. 2). Mar. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316354493.
PreS-Gr 2–An alphabet book follow-up to Harris’s Ambitious Girl features the same dark-haired, brown-skinned girl with a cast of other diverse, mostly female characters in a variety of hair and skin colors and clothes. When confronted with word balloons that proclaim them to be “Bossy! Intense! Loud! Emotional! Wild!” they take each word in alphabetical order and reclaim it by describing it with a short positive verse, though some rhymes work better than others: “L is for when my voice is Loud. I want to be heard—I’m passionate and proud” succeeds but not “J is for Judgy. My beliefs are informed—I don’t share them without studying.” Valdez’s energetic illustrations depict the girls engaged in an array of occupations, showing them as doctors, scientists, rock climbers, gardeners, artists, and more. Regardless of the activity, the message of strength, accomplishment, and unity shines through on every page.
VERDICT A worthy addition to most collections, joining the ranks of other inspiring alphabet books such as Innosanto Nagara’s A is for Activist and Rio Cortez’s The ABCs of Black History.

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