cover image RuPaul (Little People, Big Dreams)

RuPaul (Little People, Big Dreams)

Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illus. by Wednesday Holmes. Frances Lincoln, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7112-4681-2

This uneven picture book biography of “LGBTQ+ icon” RuPaul Charles follows the famous Black drag queen from his childhood in San Diego, playing dress-up in his mother and three sisters’ clothes, through his move to Atlanta to study performing arts, to becoming one of “the most fabulous drag queens in the Lower East Side” by the time he was 21. Vegara’s prose relies heavily on summary instead of particularities, and sentences are sometimes overly conceptual (“He mixed a spoonful of everything he loved and admired, and put his heart into becoming the woman of his dreams”). Holmes’s brightly colored digital illustrations, meanwhile, evoke children’s art, with wildly disproportionate bodies and haphazard features that don’t align with the subject’s aesthetic precision. Still, this linear exploration of RuPaul’s life may inspire young readers to seek out further resources. Back matter includes a timeline and additional biographical information. Ages 4–7. [em](May) [/em]