What Will My Story Be?

Viking. Oct. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593205068.
PreS-Gr 2–In her debut picture book, Chanani (author of the graphic novel Pashmina) has created a delightful tribute to the important role aunties play in loving and inspiring children. Listening to the stories her three diverse aunties tell about their lives and experiences, a young brown-skinned girl with a mass of dark curls dreams about what stories her life will inspire and imagines what her future could hold. Throughout the various scenarios, her aunties are by her side—playing, encouraging, and listening. The art is vibrant, whimsical, and sure to draw in readers. With one or two sentences per page, the book can easily sustain a child’s attention, particularly in read-aloud settings. Sometimes quirky and funny, such as a scene of pantless animal pirates that is bound to elicit giggles, the book is mostly sweet. However, in something of a mixed message, one spread about teaching dragons to speak seems odd when juxtaposed with an earlier scene of the girl’s aunties learning English.
VERDICT Chanani has created an ode to the families we choose that mostly hits the mark.

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