Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Review - Sweety


by Andrea Zuill
Date: 2019
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

From the author of Wolf Camp comes the story of a charming, mushroom-loving, headgear-wearing, totally awkward naked mole rat who is looking for like-minded peeps.

Sweety is awkward, even for a naked mole rat. She has protruding front teeth, thick glasses, and some very unusual hobbies, including interpretive dance and fungus identification. She's intense and passionate--and her peers don't always get her. But surely there are other mushroom lovers out there? As Sweety sets out to find them, she comes to realize--with a little help from her cool Aunt Ruth-- that being Sweety is actually pretty awesome. With heart and humor and a whole lot of charm, Andrea Zuill delivers a story about learning to embrace everything that makes you you--and that's something many kids are going to relate to.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Sweety is a naked mole rat (don't worry... she wears clothes) who marches to her own beat. Whether it's doing her book report through interpretive dance or obsessing over mushrooms, Sweety has her own way of doing things. But this means that she often feels like the odd one out. The only one who really gets her is Aunt Ruth, who tells Sweety that she just needs to find her people... and to do that, she just needs to be herself.

The message is one of hope for those who feel like outsiders. I can't fault that at all (although, I'm still waiting to find my people after a few decades, so it's not as easy as it sounds). The illustrations are kind of hilarious, but in the best way. Sweety is so awkward with her glasses and orthodontia, but she's a girl who knows who she is, and she's happy doing what she loves (even if others don't always understand). The characters are all rendered with the same charm and the details in the pictures are quite cute.

I'd definitely recommend this book to kids who might be having a hard time fitting in. But the message to be yourself is always a good one, whether you're still looking for your people or you've already found them.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4 out of 5

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