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RAE'S FIRST DAY by Danny Jordan Kirkus Star


The First Story in the Capables Series

by Danny Jordan illustrated by Agustina Perciante

Pub Date: Feb. 15th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-73-645800-6
Publisher: The Capables, LLC

A kindergartener uses her secret superpower on her first day of school in this picture book.

Rae starts her day with her dad’s affirmations: He assures her she’s strong, smart, and—most importantly—capable. That word gives her a jolt, which she knows emanates from her superpower. But she’s nervous about how kids will react to her limb difference (“Her right arm was shorter than her left, and her hand had two fingers”). To comfort her, her father has her repeat words they’ve shared: “Some people will look at me differently, and that’s okay” because differences “make our world super.” Confidence restored, Rae meets her classmates, and they easily accept her—difference and all—as a friend. When recess is threatened due to rain, Rae confides to a new pal about her superpower, then ducks behind a bookcase to summon the sunshine and save the day. While this series opener addresses Rae’s limb difference, it’s couched within a superhero story that’s the real focus of the comic book–styled work. The tale deftly shows that kids with differences can be heroes. Perciante’s bright cartoon illustrations, featuring a diverse cast, are sometimes full page and sometimes in panels, with lettering in boxes and word balloons to reinforce the comic-book influence. While the vocabulary Jordan uses is more appropriate for confident readers beyond kindergarten, the lap crowd will be enthralled by the format, and preschoolers will find comfort in Rae’s success.

First-day jitters, inclusivity, and an engaging superhero tale all in one.