In this semiautobiographical outing, a budding social activist turns jeers to cheers by spinning her new classmate’s hijab as a fashion statement.
The author is definitely the star of her own show; she’s introduced as a high-energy child who wears a red cape, listens carefully and always tries to see things “from every angle.” One day at school, Rosie rescues Fadimata from a mean playground crowd and then asks her in front of the whole class to show her how to make her prized cape into similar headgear. The next day, all the girls are sporting head scarves, and Fadimata is an outsider no more. Easy-peasy. Copying her new ally’s characteristic head tilt, Fadimata drives the general lesson home: “You know what, Rosie? If we remember to look at things in new ways, everything is possible.” Cathcart echoes the self-aggrandizement by portraying Rosie as the largest figure in nearly every scene, outfitting her with flamboyant hair and placing big look-at-me solo portraits—head fetchingly a-tilt—on the cover and final page.
A sketchy bit of behavior modeling that may serve as a discussion starter but has all the thematic and psychological depth of some franchise athlete’s side project. (Picture book. 6-9)