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by Linda Bailey ; illustrated by Natalia Shaloshvili

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 2023
ISBN: 9781774880111
Publisher: Tundra Books

Who says things must match?

Dotty and Other Dotty are a pair of pink mittens with yellow polka dots. Stripes is a gray-striped mitten, sans mate. The pair tease her for being a purposeless singleton and point out that the Little Girl who owns them will never wear her. Then Other Dotty gets lost, and the Little Girl pairs Dotty with Stripes. They almost become friends; that they’re mismatched is unimportant. But then who should materialize but Other Stripes, leaving Dotty solo. This trio is confronted by the “very BIG voice” of the Little Girl, who asks why they must match. After much consideration, Dotty and the striped pair confess they don’t know, and, they concede, “someone always gets left out”; the Little Girl heartily concurs. Out comes her box of mittens that lost their partners long ago. Subsequently, she decides deliberately to wear mismatched mittens daily and even starts a trend at school. The mittens love it, making new friends along the way. The overarching themes of this witty, thought-provoking story are, of course, accepting differences and recognizing individual worthiness. Mittens are a sensible thematic metaphor, suggesting cozy warmth. The illustrations, created with acrylic and watercolor pencil, depict a diverse group of background children; the Little Girl is light-skinned.

A sound, creatively told lesson in inclusion.

(Picture book. 4-7)