cover image Like


Annie Barrows, illus. by Leo Espinosa. Chronicle, $17.99 (44p) ISBN 978-1-4521-6337-6

As a child narrator, portrayed with light brown skin, muses on what things humans are “like,” the whole world is delightfully up for grabs. People, the kid posits, are not at all like tin cans (“If you open up our lids, nothing good happens”), a little like swimming pools (all that water), more like mushrooms, less like excavators, and comparatively similar to hyenas. Every “like” has a catch, however—hyenas neither talk nor “get embarrassed, even when they’re caught eating something off the ground.” But people take similarity to a wholly different—and connective—level. Even factoring in differences, says the child, “I am more like you than I am like most of the things on Earth.” (Even a mushroom.) Barrows's (the Ivy and Bean series) sweetly irreverent narrator should turn readers into eager students of classification, while—in illustrations that highlight humans of varying abilities, ages, body types, and skin tones—Espinosa’s (The World Belonged to Us) poster-like colors and midcentury modern playfulness make this volume far more fun than any academic compare-and-contrast exercise. Ages 3–5. Author’s agent: Liza Dawson, Liza Dawson Assoc. (Sept.)