Me and Ms. Too

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Mar. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062894335.
PreS-Gr 2–Navigating change, especially familial change, is difficult for most children, and this story of a family expanding to welcome a stepmother explores those inevitable growing pains. For as long as she can remember, Molly’s family has been a party of two, just her and her father. Formerly Molly’s favorite librarian, Ms. Blue marries her father and is dubbed Ms. Too. The addition of Ms. Too is not welcome to Molly, who was perfectly content with the way things were: messy, lively, and fun. Over time, the two characters find their middle ground, bonding over baking and trips to the zoo. This work stumbles in its use of librarian tropes: a love of cats, a need for order, and a dislike of spontaneity. Ms. Too sloughs these off by the end, but for the majority of the title, she fits a bit too neatly into a box to feel genuine. Ho’s illustrations are vibrant and detailed, looking as though they’ve been plucked from a Pixar storyboard, an aesthetic that is both relatable and appealing. This title will find an audience with those families experiencing similar circumstances.
VERDICT Growth and change take time, especially in families, and readers will find familiarity and comfort in the journey.

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