Neither

Airlie Anderson. Little, Brown, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-54769-7
Anderson (Cat’s Colors) tackles exclusion, difference, and identity in a sweet-tempered fable. Cute blue bunnies and yellow birds stay with their own kind: “these and those.” One day, a green bird with rabbit ears hatches. “I’m both!” it announces. “You can’t be both!” the birds and bunnies chorus. “You must be neither!” Pushed out of both groups, the winged, long-eared creature takes the name Neither and flies off dejectedly in search of a place to call home, soaring first over regimented blue and yellow fields, then over a verdant forest of blended colors and natural contours. There, other hybrid fantasy animals appear in every color—except green. “I’m different from everyone here,” worries Neither. “I’m neither red nor orange nor yellow nor blue.” The other creatures see it differently. “Exactly!” they cheer—their new friend offers them something they don’t have. Anderson’s candy-colored palette and adorable cast of creatures reflect a spectrum of states of being, creating a book that works as a resource for conversations about race, blended identities, gender norms, and more. Ages 4–8. Agent: Sara Sciuto, Fuse Literary. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/20/2017
Release date: 02/13/2018
Genre: Children's
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