Willis Watson Is a Wannabe

S. & S./Denene Millner. Feb. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781665930529.
Gr 2-4–Willis Watson’s favorite person is his grandpa, who spends a lot of time telling him that he can be whatever he wants to be when he grows up. When Grandpa is unexpectedly taken to the hospital, Willis visits him. Willis is worried about the older man but in talking to a doctor, feels reassured. This is an incredibly powerful story about identity and finding cultural connection in one’s world. A note at the end covers the inspiration for this story: Lazarex Cancer Foundation noticed that when patients were seen by doctors and healthcare providers that had similar ethnic and racial backgrounds and experiences as the patients, health outcomes were improved. This story is wonderfully written. Digital art in bright primary and secondary colors uses shadowing to convey the emotion of the story. In the hospital the images are bright and light with a sense of hope and perhaps well-being.
VERDICT Readers will be inspired by Willis Watson’s journey discovering there are no limits to what he can do and who he can be. Recommend wide purchase.

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