cover image Olu and Greta

Olu and Greta

Diana Ejaita. Rise x Penguin Workshop, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-593-38490-9

In Ejaita’s absorbing picture book debut, Black cousins Olu and Greta live near Lagos, Nigeria, and in Milan, Italy, respectively, and “they have never met each other in person! How would they?” Ejaita highlights each child’s landscape and pet—Olu spends more time among flora with a turtle, while Greta tends to stay indoors with a cat. Still, the duo finds ways to connect despite the distance. Though they cannot reach one another by skating, parade, or spaceship, each cousin participates in the same activities, video-calls, and sends boxes containing “pieces of their lives to one another, instead.” Based on her personal experience of having a Nigerian father and Italian mother, Ejaita juxtaposes the cousins’ lives through spare prose and artful pencil and digital illustrations, featuring pastel-like colors against black backdrops, which also serve as the cousins’ skin tone. A salient reminder that love and connection transcend difference and distance. Ages 3–5. (Nov.)