In this new effort, Reynolds shows readers a variety of ways a voice can be used, listened to, and heard to make a difference.
Each spread shows an example of how someone can change something or a situation “with words, with action, with creativity.” The book opens on a young black girl who’s exhorted by an unseen narrator via speech bubble: “The world needs your voice.” Through many scenarios (“If you see someone lonely…”; “If you see an empty canvas…”), the narrator encourages children to take action in many ways. A young child can speak up “with a poem” or “by planting a seed and watching it bloom.” These scenarios are enacted by a diverse group of kids, including many with various skin tones and hair textures, a child in a wheelchair, and one with glasses; ethnically or religiously specific accouterments are absent, however. Details such as the legends on T-shirts or protest signs (“Make more light”; “Shalom”; “I have a dream”; “I persist”) reinforce the message. Reynolds’ hand-lettered text, set in white text bubbles against a mix of bright backdrop colors and patterns, deftly works with before-and-after illustrations to show the change that children can effect.
This book’s encouragement to kids to find their voices can also be used to start a conversation about how they can make a difference in their world. (Picture book. 4-8)