A Is for Aretha

Penguin/­Kokila. Jan. 2023. 26p. Board $9.99. ISBN 9780593406533.
Gr 1-4–Kwan has crafted an excellent alphabet book that focuses on Black female entertainers from the last 100 years and their impact beyond their music; the book is an ideal format for young children but could be used with older readers as a history lesson in an underserved topic in a friendly format. The author takes 26 prominent Black women from music history and positions their art not only in the arena of the impact it made in the music scene but in the overall fabric of society. This not only gives kids examples of how they can make an impact in the world but how their art can do that, too. Kwan does not shy away from mentioning the repercussions many of these artists faced as well as overall societal racial injustices. Coupled with Baker’s resplendent, colorful illustrations created for each artist, this book will capture the attention in a high-impact delivery of memorable information.
VERDICT A perfect companion for the recent H Is for Harlem and ideal for covering overlooked names in Black studies.

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