Lil’ Libros. May 2023. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781948066549.
PreS-Gr 2–Mia Emilia Lucia Renata is an active little girl with a big name. She views herself as exceptional, fashionable, and creative. Unfortunately, the grown-ups in her life label her flaws as clumsy, loud, and messy. While in the beginning of the story Mia appears tall and proud, the negative words from her loved ones diminish her. The only person who expressively values Mia is her abuela, who tells her that she simply has too much “wepa.” While this word, commonly used in Latin America does not have a literal English translation, the story describes it as magic. Wepa is meant to be shared with others. As Mia embraces her wepa, she returns to her essence as the exceptional little girl she believed herself to be. The quirky illustrations are bright and colorful, representative of the main character’s point of view. The palette of pinks and teals give the book a fun, childlike appeal. Abuela sports an afro and big teal glasses. The book identifies symptoms of ADHD without labeling them as such. Instead, the focus is on Mia’s perspective and how she is seen by others; children will be able to relate to her and her problems. Mia has light brown skin and curly brown hair. An author’s note to adults encourages them to dismantle “chancla culture,” or the practice of punishing children by hitting them with a physical object, like a slipper.
VERDICT This little book preaches an important message of acceptance and respect without didacticism. Purchase for all bilingual shelves.–

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