cover image Marley’s Pride

Marley’s Pride

Joëlle Retener, illus. by DeAnn Wiley. Barefoot, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 979-8-88859-074-4

It’s Pride Month, and Marley, a Black transgender child who has sensory sensitivities, is anxious about the upcoming festivities. But their grandparent, Zaza, is receiving an award for transgender advocacy and, after years of skipping Pride, Marley wants to attend. Preparations include self-talk and deep breaths as well as rounding up essentials (noise-cancelling headphones, a fidget spinner, and a favorite stuffed bunny), and Zaza offers comfort when things feel difficult (“If you want to turn back, we can head right on home”). But the day shows Marley that “You belong here. You aren’t doing this alone,” and prompts an experience of lightness and inclusion. Retener celebrates the communal spirit of Pride in this lively intersectional jaunt, which respects Marley’s boundaries through open communication. Wiley’s stylistically flat digital art supplies an eye-catching tableau of textural effects and solid rainbow colors, and inclusive character designs reflect a community of various abilities, body types, and skin tones. Detailed back matter, including a “What if you don’t like parades?” note, concludes. Ages 3–9. (Apr.)