Jenny Mei Is Sad

Tracy Subisak. Little, Brown, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-53771-1
Subisak’s Black narrator knows their East Asian–appearing friend Jenny Mei’s sadness may be difficult for others to notice; after all, she’s funny, and she still smiles. Some days are difficult, but when Jenny Mei acts out, the narrator knows what to do: get ice pops, play kick the rock, and ask how their friend is, even if Jenny Mei doesn’t feel up to answering. As Subisak tenderly reveals through simple, immediate first-person narration, the best way to support a pal is to stand by them “for fun and not-fun and everything in between.” Dynamic art in India ink, Japanese watercolor, pastel, and colored pencil centers the children’s shifting emotions, working seamlessly with the text to reveal even more, including the circumstance behind Jenny Mei’s feelings. A sensitive, gracefully wrought portrait of compassion. Ages 4–8. (June)
Reviewed on : 06/04/2021
Release date: 06/01/2021
Genre: Children's
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