Powerful You

Feiwel & Friends. Jun. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250841278.
PreS-Gr 2–Neal focuses on the importance of two simple words, “yes” and “no.” By using “yes,” children can undertake new adventures, try new things, and make new friends. However, she saying “yes” can be “tricky.” If a child is uncomfortable after “yes,” they need to listen to their body and remember that “no” can keep them safe. “No” also allows for individual choice. A full page is devoted to ways children can say “yes” (“Yep,” “Totally,” “No problem”) as well as how to say “no” (“Sorry, I have something else to do,” “Sounds great but I’m busy,” “This doesn’t feel good”). The art, reminiscent of Peter H. Reynolds’s style, uses bold, bright watercolor washes to set off large areas of white space. Neal’s characters (a child and animals) are simple, and only the color red is used to accent their black lines. The characters capture the innocence and joy of childhood as well as the worry.
VERDICT Teachers and parents will appreciate the simplicity of the message in helping children make good choices in the name of their emotional well-being.

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