How and why a symbol of exclusion can be transformed into just the opposite.
The circle is depicted literally in the illustrations but regarded as metaphorical in the unpolished if earnest rhyme. It begins as a mark “on the ground [drawn] along each shoe” (and then, according to the picture, around toes and heels) as “a safe little place for just one person.” But that makes no more sense that a library with “just one book”—and so it should be expanded to include family, friends, and ultimately the whole world: “In the circles all around us / everywhere that we all go / there’s a difference we can make / and a love we can all show.” Expanding on the Instagram video from which this is spun, the simply drawn art shows one button-eyed, pale-skinned child with a piece of chalk drawing and redrawing an increasingly large circle that first lets in a sibling and their interracial parents, then relatives (including another interracial couple), then larger groups (diverse in age and skin tone, including one child in a wheelchair and one wearing a hijab). In subsequent views figures mix and match in various combinations with interlocking circles of their own while waving personal flags here (“I only like SPORTS!”; “I’m Team CAKE!”) and sharing doughnuts there until a closing invitation to regard “wonder-eyed” our beaming, encircled planet. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at 75% of actual size.)
Cuter as a child-narrated video, but the message is worthy enough to justify this less-evanescent medium.(Picture book. 6-8)