Dear Girl,

Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal, illus. by Holly Hatam. Harper, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-242250-7
Rosenthal, who died last March, and her daughter, Paris, offer encouragement to girls through a series of short letters. Some of the advice and imagery is overly familiar (“Dear Girl, Don’t ever lose your sense of wonder,” finds the book’s heroine standing in awe of a rainbow) but the missives are generally empathetic and up-to-the-minute. Readers are urged to branch out (“Find people like you. Find people unlike you”), and there’s a nod to the pressures of growing up with social media: “Dear Girl, You won’t be invited to every single party on the planet. (Which is really ok—can you imagine how exhausting that would be?)” Hatam keeps the mood light in drawings that combine line-drawn characters with collaged elements and color washes, though the focus on one girl with white skin and black hair relegates children of color to supporting roles. The authors are forthright in their intention to create a keepsake, noting, “Whenever you need an encouraging boost, remember you can turn to any page in this book.” Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Amy Rennert, Amy Rennert Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Christy Ewers, Christina A. Tugeau Artist Agency. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/09/2017
Release date: 01/01/2018
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