Little Black Girl: Oh, the Things You Can Do!

Penguin/Nancy Paulsen. Nov. 2022. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593406236.
PreS-Gr 2–Addressing readers as “you,” as well as the “Little Black Girl” in the illustrations, there is no limit to the greatness this or any child may accomplish in her life. One young girl dreams of being an engineer, but the road to achieve her goal is fraught with challenges. Not only must she overcome her internal self-talk when things do not go the way she expects, but she must also stand strong in the face of outward adversity. Thanks to the intentional efforts of those who have come before her, the girl becomes stronger every day and never gives up as she works diligently to achieve her dream. This poetic story is a love letter to every little Black girl who has ever felt left out from the world around her. Throughout the book, readers are reminded of just how unique and important they are, even if they are not always able to recognize that truth themselves. Written in rhyming couplets, the singsong meter is mostly well-balanced and is pleasing to the ear. Though the text and the illustrations are not explicitly linked, one can think of the narrative as flowing in and around the main character in support of her mission as she faces obstacles and overcomes them. Digitally rendered illustrations are filled with intricate color and shading, and readers will be inspired to discuss the images as the story progresses.
VERDICT This uplifting, approachable book offers unlimited encouragement to children of all ages to believe in themselves and relentlessly chase their beautiful dreams.

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