All Good in the Hood

Little, Brown. May 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316461986.
PreS-Gr 2–A young Black boy is celebrating Juneteenth with his mom, dad, and big brother, but he worries about going to such a big, loud celebration. Several things happen on the way that increase his anxiety, but each time his brother lovingly reassures him by using the titular phrase, “Don’t worry, Lil’ Bro, it’s all good in the hood!” Thanks to his family’s loving support, Lil’ Bro enjoys the festivities, and at the end of the day he reassures his big brother, who is anxious about the sound of the fireworks. Reed (Simon B. Rhymin’) uses upbeat, rhyming text supported seamlessly by Jose’s lively illustrations that include details like incorporating the colors of the Pan-African flag into the mother’s outfit and the ice cream treats she serves her family. Although the text is choppy in places—“‘We’re going to the park,’ Mom said. ‘It’s a holiday!’ But, deep down, at home is where I wished we could stay,” and “But my Big Bro grabbed me and pulled me to the side/ Just in the nick of time as the truck flew by”—children will love the positive story and the playful digital images.
VERDICT A first purchase.

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