Marley’s Pride

Barefoot Bks. Apr. 2024. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9798888590744.
PreS-Gr 3–Marley is worried. Their grandparent Zaza is excited about the upcoming Pride Parade but Marley, a Black child with sensory sensitivity, is worried about the noise and crowds and fears getting lost. Zaza is getting an award for their work for the LGBTQIA+ community, and Marley wants to be there. Ultimately, Marley gathers their strength, joins a very supportive Zaza, and finds caring and protective friends. Seeing the joy and delight as well as pride in celebrating who they are, along with the acceptance from their new friends, enable Marley to overcome fear and anxiety. Brightly colored illustrations depict a community of many skin colors and abilities. The thorough afterword offers definitions, appropriate pronoun use, depictions of pride flags, and history, too. Educators may want to supplement this with some further reading. This work will be a valuable teaching tool to support children with questions concerning themselves or their friends.
VERDICT A sensitive work, based in bittersweet lessons, this is also a practical guide to overcoming anxiety with the help of others.

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