cover image The Sublime Ms. Stacks

The Sublime Ms. Stacks

Robb Pearlman, illus. by Dani Jones. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5476-0714-3

At the start of this energetic picture book, a group of children portrayed with various abilities and skin tones introduce pale-skinned librarian Mr. Stephen, who’s great at his job but lacks in craft savvy and showmanship. So for some activities, he’s “replaced” by glamorous, blond-haired Ms. Stacks, who leads them through arts and crafts (“There’s no such thing as ‘too much glitter!’ ”), story time, and finally show-and-tell, featuring a lip-sync performance alongside two other librarians. Though the students don’t realize that Ms. Stacks is Mr. Stephen in drag, their enthusiastic acceptance, conveyed though Pearlman’s lively narration and mirrored in Jones’s bold-hued illustrations, is heartwarming; so, too, is the way Ms. Stacks’s performance encourages the students to do what they love, making a great case for the joyfully affirming power of drag. As Ms. Stacks says, “It’s so nice... to be seen.” Ages 3–6. (June)