Small-Girl Toni and the Quest for Gold

Viking. Dec. 2023. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593404867.
PreS-Gr 2–In a love letter to Toni Morrison, Anatol’s debut is an inspiring piece of fiction. Toni lives with her family in small-town Ohio in the early 20th century. Her imaginative stories get her into all sorts of scrapes, but that doesn’t stop Toni. She adventures with her friends one day to hunt for gold, only to realize all the different ways they were blessed with golden experiences throughout their day. As detailed in the back matter, Anatol weaves many references to Morrison’s work in the characters, plot, and setting. Figueroa’s signature, emotive style with layered colors and soft edges complements the story well, particularly in scenes featuring weather and plant life. Notably, the picture book is successful as an ode to Morrison and as a message of creativity, community, and hope. Readers do not need previous knowledge of Morrison to enjoy this lovely volume.
VERDICT Vibrant and joyous; recommended for general purchase.

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