cover image Wutaryoo


Nilah Magruder. Versify, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-358-17238-3

The diminutive, silvery hero of this picture book by Magruder (How to Find a Fox) has a long, feathery tail; outsize mouse ears; and small horns on her head, but “She was the only one, and she did not know where she came from.// She did not know her name either.” When curious animals ask, “Wutaryoo?” she responds with the same phrase, listening timidly as other animals regale her with the stories of their species’ origins. “The first gardener,” a rabbit reveals, “dug too deep and hit the very center of the world, and you know what popped out? Rabbits!” “Wow,” marvels Wutaryoo. Later, under a full moon, she muses: “Surely, I have a story, too.” Painterly digital spreads in grays, lavenders, and pinks take on an otherworldly feeling as Wutaryoo journeys over and under the earth. Her odyssey doesn’t give her the answer she seeks, but she returns with tales about what she has seen and felt—stories that win her the admiration of her peers. Employing beguiling characters and dreamlike artwork, Magruder makes a case for individual worth: it’s not illustrious ancestry that makes creatures special, but what they do themselves—and the generosity with which they share their experience. Ages 4–7. Agent: Tricia Lawrence, Erin Murphy Literary. (Jan.)