Gaily Told Tales and Storytella’s debut picture book is about what it means to be part of a family, with particular appeal for adopted children.
Paloma, who’s black, knows she is “posilutely” like her parents, who happen to be white. She tells readers about her parents, her cat, Cluck, and her bossy brother. Every Friday, the family goes out for ice cream, but one Friday, Paloma does something not befitting her parents: She flies away to try out a different family. She flies from one family to another, experiencing life in a pirate family and a superhero family, among others. Her travels then take her to a family whose skin color and hair are just like hers. She learns from this family, her birth family, that they were not able to care for her; that’s why she has a different family. When she returns home, she’s upset because she realizes that her mother’s fair hair and skin mean that they are not “posilutely” alike. Her mother reassures her that this is true: Because Paloma is unique, she can’t be exactly like anyone else. Children and adults will appreciate Paloma’s journey and her good-hearted concern about family. Bright and engaging mixed-media collage illustrations accompany and complement the text, with some Spanish words and phrases sprinkled throughout: “And then Paloma fell / Boom! / inside of, / en el medio de, / right into la casa, / the house.” (A book-ending glossary explains.) The notes that precede the text will aid adults who wish to use the book as a discussion starter. Perhaps due to printing irregularities, Paloma’s skin tone seems much lighter at the beginning of the book than toward the end, which might confuse young readers/listeners or at least lead to a question or two.
Vibrant collages and a fun style make this book a treat to read.