A girl walks readers through her day, introducing the many members of her diverse community in Howell’s (Shimmer, 2017) rhyming picture book with illustrations by Yang (A New Book for Jack, 2017).
A young, pale-skinned girl with red hair awakens in her room, which features a large picture of her mother, who looks just like her, and an African-American father. She listens to the local garbage trucks, then has breakfast: “Mom makes pancakes, / Morning’s cool. / Soon I’m dressed, / Ready for school.” Her brown-skinned younger sister sits in a high chair. During the day, the older girl greets her neighbors: mail carrier Juan, bus driver Mr. Lee, chef Mario at the pizza parlor, police chief Cho, teachers, librarians, and a vet and a doctor (both women). Later, the girl reveals that her father is the mayor. The book depicts a busy day with plenty for readers to see, filled with friends and family. The story is reminiscent of the Sesame Street song “The People in Your Neighborhood,” focusing on characters rather than plot; there’s no conflict but plenty of introductions to the figures who shape the girl’s world. Yang’s gentle, pastel-hued illustrations have soft edges, giving the backgrounds a painted look, and feature round-headed, large-eyed, cartoon-style characters. Howell’s steady rhymes make this an easy read-aloud.
A nice reflection of a diverse, multihued world.