Olivette Is You

Random. Apr. 2024. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593381533.
Gr 1-4–A celebratory anthem about individuality and uniqueness through all the possibilities that reside within children and eventually adults. Olivette is a superhero of the most ordinary but important kind, emotionally insightful. She starts each day eager to embrace what life brings but recognizes that it might be a good or a bad day. Whether feeling happy or glum, “All my feelings are me.” This mantra is her empowerment to celebrate all emotions and forms of expression. Her uniqueness and everyone’s inner uniqueness mean diversity and inclusion are valued, not scorned. She is not restrained by traditional gender norms in her interests and hobbies but is simply herself. The overall message is one of positivity and looking at the world through enlightened eyes. Kashiwagi depicts Olivette and her world in an exaggerated cartoon style that energizes Olivette’s actions in an appealing manner. There are funny “Easter eggs” in the background of almost every page to search out during repeat reads. A strong effort is made towards diversity and inclusivity with varied ages, genders, ethnicities, and abilities shown.
VERDICT An essential purchase to help children embrace their own uniqueness or tackle complex emotions.

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