Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Review - A Girl Like Me

A Girl Like Me
by Angela Johnson
illustrated by Nina Crews
Date: 2020
Publisher: Millbrook Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

"Once I dreamed I swam / the ocean / and saw everything deep, cool / and was part of the waves. / I swam on by the people / onshore / hollering, / 'A girl like you needs to / stay out of the water / and be dry / like everyone else.'"

Empower young readers to embrace their individuality, reject societal limitations, and follow their dreams. This inspiring picture book brings together a poem by acclaimed author Angela Johnson and Nina Crews's distinctive photocollage illustrations to celebrate girls of color.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I don't think I'm the audience for this. Actually, I'm not sure who the audience for this is. I can see very young children taking delight in looking at the photographs of all the little girls like them. On the other hand, the poetry text is kind of esoteric, and the "girl power!" message gets a little lost in the jumble of words. As an adult, I "get" it... but I don't know if kids will.

I do often like photo collage, but something about the way it's done here doesn't really work. Sometimes--especially when the scene is meant to look realistic--it has an air of "bad Photoshop" about it. The more fanciful collages are better.

Overall, I'm not sure if I'd recommend this one... mainly because I'm not sure who I'd recommend it to.

Thank you to NetGalley and Millbrook Press for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.33 out of 5

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