Bodies Are Cool

Dial. Jun. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593112625.
PreS-Gr 3–With colorful pages of people in all shapes and sizes, this book both serves as a joyous read-aloud for small and large groups and as a book for individual study and discovery. It works as an introduction to diversity without being explicitly about that, which is a gloriously refreshing take on the universality of the human experience. Young readers can look at the full-page color cartoon drawings for true-to-life representation of people in everyday group situations, such as a public swimming pool, the park, dance class, movie theater, and public transit. Displayed is a richly detailed tapestry of people with many skin tones, hair colors, shapes and sizes, clothing choices, and abilities; examples include wheelchairs, a hijab swimsuit, prosthetics on adults and kids, diabetics with insulin pumps, etc. More importantly, in a book about body positivity, the drawings represent people as they are in real life, “tall, short, wide, or narrow.” The approach to both body image and body concepts is to use people-centric language and imagery that doesn’t divide along explicit lines. Each spread with its dense drawing of people joined together in a group activity focuses on traits (body shape, skin tone, hair, eyes, faces, etc.) in a repetitive, rhythmic sequence. Feder includes representations of Africans, Asians, Muslims, and whites from small sizes to plus sizes in all positions. This book is an excellent pairing with Todd Parr’s It’s Okay To Be Different.
VERDICT With lilting dancelike rhythm through word repetition and brightly colored detailed images, this is a timely and worthy addition for every collection.

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