cover image Not Little

Not Little

Maya Myers, illus. by Hyewon Yum. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4619-3

Making her picture book debut, Myers creates a memorable hero in Dot, a diminutive brown-skinned girl who “may be small” but chafes at being treated like she’s “little.” She catalogs the indignities: “At the library, they ask if I’m sure I want to take out such hard books.” When a clerk asks her mother, “Would your little girl like a sticker?” Dot yells, “I’m not little!” Then tan-skinned, bespectacled Sam joins her class; he might be even shorter than Dot, and she’s immediately captivated (“I keep trying to get next to him so I can measure”). When a red-haired bully menaces Sam in the cafeteria, Dot realizes that something must be done—and she acts. Myers describes Dot’s intervention in a second-by-second account, taking careful note of the emotions and sensations that she experiences (“I feel my heart beating very hard”), clearly conveying how it feels to be scared and intervene anyway. Yum (Grandpa Across the Ocean) portrays Dot and her world with simplicity and sensitivity in colored pencil textures and hues; a double portrait of the moment when Sam lets Dot know what her help means to him is a treat. Ages 3–7. [em]Author’s agent: Hannah Mann, Writers House. Illustrator’s agent: Sean McCarthy, Sean McCarthy Literary. (July) [/em]