The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be

Joanna Gaines, illus. by Julianna Swaney. Tommy Nelson, $19.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4003-1423-2
A variously diverse group of earnest children designs individual hot-air balloons in this chirpy book by the creators of We Are the Gardeners. Gaines’s prose can be cumbersome, and inconsistencies in the verse’s rhyme and rhythm may make for rocky reading aloud—addressing the kids’ divergent creative processes, Gaines writes, “Some of us think through every possibility before we jump in./ And some of us know what we like before we even begin.” Though ambiguities and platitudes slow the story’s pace (“All of us can be kind, compassionate, and gracious./ All of us can be helpful, considerate, and courageous”), Swaney’s crisp pictures ground the narrative, pinpointing each child’s creative path, personality, and willingness to collaborate with others. A mix of spot art and busy panoramas, the cheerful illustrations feature a spectrum of bold and pastel hues—most strikingly evident in the eclectic balloons’ designs and patterns—and help solidify Gaines’s message about the rewards of appreciating others and creatively expressing one’s individuality. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 10/29/2020
Release date: 11/10/2020
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 32 pages - 978-1-4002-1540-9
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