Judge Juliette

Sterling. Aug. 2020. 32p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781454934325.
K-Gr 2–Readers watch Juliette grow up from a toddler playing dress-up in her mother’s official robes to a trusted younger member in a diverse neighborhood where she works to settle familial disputes. All goes awry when she must settle a conflict between her parents, who each try to convince her which pet is best. In the end, Juliette is forced to recuse herself (one of the legal phrases peppered throughout the text and defined in a simple and understandable glossary) and her envious neighbor Sergio finally gets his chance to bang the gavel. The story is told with humor, as the parents go all out to convince their daughter of their choices. Gehl (Peep & Egg) delivers a clear story arc that will appeal to a range of ages. Lobo’s illustrations feature cartoon-like characters with big eyes and bright expressions. A varied color palette and pops of detail in otherwise simple pictures make each page engaging and fun. Juliette is biracial and there are refreshing nods to her parents subverting traditional gender roles (Dad bakes, Mom builds). While younger readers will enjoy the plot, they may not have prior knowledge of some of the concepts, but with a bit of guidance, they’ll enjoy the story and learn about a possible new career path.
VERDICT This story of a young girl with a dream is a refreshing addition to career shelves.

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