I Love My Colorful Nails

tr. from Spanish by Ben Dawlatly. illus. by Gusti. 36p. NubeOcho. Apr. 2019. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9788417123598. Spanish Edition ISBN 9788417123581.
PreS-Gr 2—This picture book import from Spanish authors Acosta and Amavisca and Argentinian illustrator Dawlatly tells the story of Ben, a boy who likes to wear nail polish. Red-haired, tan-skinned Ben paints his nails with his mother and his friend Margarita. When boys at school tease Ben and call him a girl, he becomes sad and withdrawn and stops wearing nail polish to school. He confides in his parents, and his dad normalizes the practice by wearing his own nail polish, including when he picks up Ben from school. The story resolves on Ben's birthday, when all of his classmates paint their nails as a special treat. Although the teasing is gender-based, the tale does not focus on gender identity but rather on Ben's love of colorful nails, his deep hurt and sadness from the bullying, and the unconditional love and support of his family and friends. The translation is smooth and the writing clear and straightforward. Children will understand the narrative easily and empathize with Ben. Gusti's watercolors are loose and flowing, similar to those of Chris Raschka. The bright nails stand out from the earth tones of the characters' skin, hair, and clothing. The love between the family is depicted through physical contact, and Ben's smile and rosy cheeks light up the final page, as he flaunts his blue polish while wearing a birthday hat.
VERDICT An endearing picture book about bullying, identity, and family.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing