cover image Serena: The Littlest Sister

Serena: The Littlest Sister

Karlin Gray, illus. by Monica Ahanonu. Page Street Kids, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62414-694-7

Gray diverges from other picture book biographies of Venus and Serena Williams by focusing more fully on the youngest sister and by introducing the three other Williams sisters: Lyndrea, Isha, and Yetunde. The story opens with Serena accepting her trophy at the 1999 U.S. Open final at Arthur Ashe Stadium. “Thirteen years earlier,” the Williams children are seen pushing a shopping cart filled with tennis balls to practice at the public courts. And outside the family sport, the “girls dreamed of what they could become: Tunde, a nurse... Isha, a lawyer... Lyn, a singer.” When Venus’s career takes off, Serena receives assurance from her sister Tunde (“You’ll have your day. And it’s gonna be even bigger”). Ahanonu’s cut-paper-like compositions place exaggerated emphasis on the sisters’ bright clothes, creating a pop-art aesthetic. The conclusion brings the book full circle, as Serena again appears with her trophy, thanking “all my sisters for all the support.” Ages 8–11. (May)