A book showcasing a variety of human differences, told in singsong rhyme.
In his diversity-focused debut, social media personality Lowe uses repetitious verse to convey a range of differences, including personal qualities, social identities, physical traits, and individual preferences. Each set of attributes culminates in the same lines: “You may not know them / they may not be you, // but some people are, / and some people do.” Lowe and Hara cover an impressive array of experiences, uplifting adopted and single-parented kids, children with a variety of learning styles (and speeds), spiritual and secular youth, and a spectrum of disabled youth. However, not all of these identities are skillfully portrayed. Cartoony images by Instagram-famous illustrator Hara offer colorful but sometimes-hackneyed representations. For example, in a picture depicting wealthy and working-class kids, the “poor” child, hair uncombed, lies belly-down on grass, inexplicably grinning at a mouse. In another spread, a white transgender child with short hair and wearing tighty whities frowns into a full-length mirror. On the next page, the same kid beams at their new reflection, which features the child with longer hair; the accompanying text reads, “Some people don’t feel / quite right in their skin // some people want out / of the body they’re in.” The perpetuation of the common narrative that defines trans people by their dysphoria is disappointing.
Thoughtfully conceived but not quite successful in the delivery. (Picture book. 3-9)