cover image A Boy and His Mirror

A Boy and His Mirror

Marchánt Davis, illus. by Keturah A. Bobo. Penguin/Paulsen, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-593-11055-3

Inclusivity begins with self-assurance and connection, suggest Davis and Bobo in this expressive rhyming ballad centering a Black child with long curls. Chris likes his hair, but when kids start to tease, he’s not sure how to respond. At home, a regal Black woman emerges from a mirror with advice: “In a faraway land, child,/ you’d look like a king./ They’d love you just as you are—/ tell you, ‘Don’t change a thing.’ ” At first he interprets the message literally, “showing bling, acting cool” after arriving at school in a crown. Following more schoolyard cruelty, he tries again, urging the group to “stop judging, quit calling names.” Everyone readily agrees, and final scenes present youth of varied skin tones beaming as they energetically race around the playground. Realistic acrylic and digital artwork incorporates geometric patterns while foregrounding the protagonist’s emotions as they grow toward confidence. Ages 3–7. (Jan.)