cover image Dear Reader: A Love Letter to Libraries

Dear Reader: A Love Letter to Libraries

Tiffany Rose. Little Bee, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4998-1225-1

As much a billet doux to budding authors as to readers and libraries, Rose’s energetic epistolary picture book issues a call for representation: “What of the brown people like me who could do magic, fight villains, and find lost cities of gold?” The book opens with its forthright narrator, who has brown skin and wears a cat-ears headband, surrounded by books. “I devour so many books, I prefer them to meals,” the text reads, as art portrays a pancake-like stack. But none of the child’s favorites feature characters who look like her, and a return trip to the library in search of “characters of the same hue” only yields “books of struggle, hardship, and pain.” And so, in search of “cocoa-colored mer-people,/ honey-hued dragon slayers,/ and superheroes with locs,” the take-charge reader decides to become a writer, encouraging others to follow her heroic lead. Stars are sprinkled across Rose’s busy unlined art, amplifying the text’s powerful suggestion that stories can change the world. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)