cover image The Me I Choose to Be

The Me I Choose to Be

Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, illus. by Regis and Kahran Bethencourt. Little, Brown, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-46154-2

Striking, imaginative photographic portraits of Black youth by Regis and Kahran Bethencourt, embellished in Photoshop, fill the pages of this picture book, which shows the figures’ unlimited potential. A mantra-esque refrain unites Tarpley’s rhyming statements throughout, encouraging readers to embrace their multitudes: “My creativity and curiosity/ flow without end,/ and if I meet an obstacle,/ I just begin again.” Metaphors beginning with “I am” open each page, centering Black children as “a maker, a creator,” “joyful,” “a tiny bird,” “the night sky,” and more. Suitably themed photos portray the models adorned with props, fanciful outfits, and intricate hairstyles against richly colored backgrounds, often in space, emphasizing a speculative Afro-futurist element. An empowering visual essay. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)