Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor acts as inspiration for a series of exhortations.
Taking the life of Sotomayor as a springboard, Oliver invites children to “Be a good listener…an explorer…courageous…helpful…vocal…a mentor…just…a good sport…an inspiration…you!” (The last appears over a mirror set into the page.) Bold and colorful illustrations accompany each motivational call. In some instances the author has added a quote from Justice Sotomayor as well. For “Be courageous” for example, the accompanying quote is “Diabetes taught me discipline.” The illustration shows a sad-looking young Sotomayor sitting on a table in an infirmary while a nurse injects her with insulin. On the last page there is a bare-bones summary that helps explain some of the statements. As part of the same Be Bold, Baby! series, Oliver presents other motivational calls based on the life of author J.K. Rowling, following the same format. Here, children are encouraged to “Be a fan…a friend…a rebel…imaginative…persistent…resilient…bewitching…a light…magical…you!” In neither book do the illustrations significantly aid board-book listeners in their comprehension of the concepts introduced. Furthermore, Sotomayor and Rowling will mean far more to adults than to preschoolers. However, the books could be used as a basis for meaningful if rudimentary conversations.
There’s no need to rush out for this one. (Board book. 3-5)