America, My Love, America, My Heart

Daria Peoples-Riley. Greenwillow, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-299329-8

End papers featuring the Pledge of Allegiance scrawled over the U.S. flag bookend Peoples-Riley’s moving, incisive consideration of America’s past and present treatment of its Black and brown inhabitants. Intertwining lyrical lines of English, Louisiana Creole, and Spanish, she offers the first-person narration of a child who loves their country, and who wonders about the nation’s reciprocity: “Do you love my black?/ Do you love my brown? Do you love my throne?/ Do you love my crown?” reads a recto page, as the verso shows two figures in the shadow of an eagle. Oil and graphite art features people of color amid landscapes, church, and school, in shades of red, white, and blue against gray backgrounds, emphasizing both the narrator’s pride in America and the questions of marginalized people living there: “Do you love my brave? Do you love my bold?” A powerful picture book interrogation. Back matter includes an author’s note revealing personal inspiration. Ages 4–8. [em](Apr.) [/em]