cover image Beautifully Me

Beautifully Me

Nabela Noor, illus. by Nabi H. Ali. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5344-8587-7

It’s the first day of school for exuberant narrator Zubi Chowdhury, a round, Muslim Bangladeshi American child. That morning, she witnesses her family bemoaning their weight: Amma calls her tummy “too big,” Zubi’s older sister Naya turns down parathas because she’s dieting for a school dance, and Baba says it’s “not good” that he’s “up to a large now” in shirt size. At school, a classmate says that a nonbinary student looks fat in their silk dress. Zubi’s confusion comes to a head at dinnertime, with an outburst leading to a valuable family conversation: “Sometimes we can be mean to ourselves without even realizing it. And when we hurt ourselves, we hurt the people we love and who love us.” Ali adds vibrant, expressive digital illustrations to this candid primer on body acceptance, a salient reminder to guardians of children’s emotional osmosis. Back matter includes a Bengali-English glossary. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)