Lovely

Jess Hong. Creston (PGW, dist.), $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-939547-37-8
“What is lovely?” asks newcomer Hong at the outset of a book that celebrates seeing the beauty in everyone. She answers her own question by introducing a cavalcade of individuals young and old, with an emphasis on individual. “Lovely is different,” she writes as a girl with heterochromia looks at herself in the mirror. A young white woman in a goth ensemble represents “black,” while a brown-skinned woman with flowing white hair and a garland of flowers signifies “white.” Other opposite pairs include “soft” (a baby clutching a stuffed bear) and “sharp” (an elderly woman with lavender hair, a nose ring, and a spike-covered leather jacket), and spreads featuring arms and legs showcase bodies with tattoos, freckles, vitiligo, and prosthetic limbs. Hong’s digital cartooning is clean and bright, and her portraits casually reflect a diversity of ages, skin colors, abilities, occupations, and family types; a mixed-race gay couple stands opposite a brown-skinned woman carrying her son on her shoulders. It’s easy to see beauty in people simply being themselves in these pages, a clear, direct message that readers can carry into their lives. Ages 4–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/28/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
Genre: Children's
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