A spirited young child is proud to be a girl—even if everyone mistakes her for a boy.
Even though girls are supposed to be made of sugar and spice, Ismail’s spunky protagonist is not. She makes a mess when she eats. She rides so fast on her scooter that when it hits a bump, she’s sent flying through the air. Because of her exuberant personality, adults refer to her as “sonny” and “young man.” To which she proudly responds, “I’m a girl!” She refuses to change who she is based on others’ expectations of how a girl should behave. Her strong self-confidence pushes aside frustration to celebrate being a girl, and she makes a new friend who is just as proud to be a boy. Young readers will giggle over the protagonist’s misadventures. Most importantly, readers will relate to her belief that there is “no right or wrong way to play when you play ‘pretend.’ ” Ismail even sneaks in the message that it’s OK for boys to play with dolls. Ismail’s lively watercolors pop against the minimalist backgrounds, capturing her narrator’s energy. She depicts her protagonist as a donkey, surrounding her with a truly diverse cast of anthropomorphic animals.
A rallying cry to be enthusiastically true to oneself. (Picture book. 2-5)