What Are You?

Roaring Brook. Oct. 2022. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250786029.
PreS-Gr 2–Two poodles question another dog’s breed, which is puggle: half pug, half beagle. Once the breed is identified, the poodles make broad stereotypes about the pup. For instance, all pugs are good at hula-hooping, and all beagles are good at pogo sticks. The puggle explains that what the puggle likes and does is based on individual preference, not a “breed.” In essence, this story boils down complicated stereotypes about race, culture, and gender into a simple allegory for young readers. Back matter includes discussion questions written by a child psychologist to help adults guide conversations about stereotypes. Curato brings mastery to the discussion, with expressive and colorful artwork that elevates the discussion and lifts the allegory further. The book’s warm pastel palette is welcoming.
VERDICT A must-have for any public or school library collection.

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