The team of Brooks and Goldstein (Bubbies-Babies Presents: Celebrating Differences, 2017) continues its picture book series with this sequel about self-acceptance.
Using the conceit that the anthropomorphized young animals in grandmother black bear Bubbie’s classroom are trying to find themselves, this rhyming text is accompanied by computer-generated images. The pictures reveal well-executed, child-friendly characters searching different locations. First, Piper the horse explores her room, then thinks perhaps the last place she saw herself was on the playground. There, Decker the cheetah examines all of the equipment for himself before checking the lost-and-found box. The things he finds prompt zebra siblings Michael and Lee to hunt for themselves at the beach. Shane the turtle, who uses a wheelchair, checks for himself at the bakery. Leslie the cat thinks maybe she’s at the house of Evan the anteater. Teri the dog looks for herself at home. After taking a bath, she wipes steam from the mirror and spies her own face. Goldstein’s illustrations are cute and Brooks’ rhymes, while uneven and poorly spaced on the page, making the stanza ends hard to find, work rhythmically when read aloud. But the message will go over the heads of young readers, who will likely see the silliness of looking for yourself as a goofy game.
An earnest animal tale that could use a less obscure moral.