cover image Oh, Olive!

Oh, Olive!

Lian Cho. HarperCollins/Tegen, $19.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-0632-3749-0

Olive Chen, who reads as East Asian, believes she’s “the most magnificent and brilliant artist in the whole wide world,” and she dresses accordingly, wearing a beret-topped ensemble of primary colors. Olive is also defiantly out of step with the rest of her sphere, which is depicted as rigidly monochromatic and form-focused; as she jubilantly paints in bright, uninhibited splatters and swirls, her artist parents and art teacher insist that crisp, inky circles, squares, and triangles are the height of artistic expression. But Olive’s classmates, depicted with varying skin tones, find her art and joie de vivre irresistible. After following her lead in their own creations, they join her on a mission to repaint the whole town—and even her parents have to agree that it’s a brighter, happier place for her touch. Making her solo debut and working in an array of exuberantly applied media, Cho (Oh No, the Aunts Are Here) revels in coloring outside the lines via a protagonist whose lack of self-doubt and unwillingness to go along to get along delivers an aesthetic and emotional zhuzh. Ages 4–8. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Sept.)