The creator of Little Owl's Night explores and celebrates the complexities of what makes us who we are in this comforting and thoughtful picture book.
A young narrator describes herself: a girl, a granddaughter, Indian, and American. Soon, we see the young girl as a plethora of things: selfish and generous, mean and kind, brave and mischievous. While many of these qualities oppose each other, the context and illustrations make it abundantly clear that she speaks the truth. She is a walking contradiction, and that is precisely what makes her both a unique individual and an essential piece of the greater world around her. Divya Srinivasan shows what makes us human and proud to be who we are.
PreS-Gr 2--The young narrator opens the story by describing her various attributes: a human, a girl, a daughter, a granddaughter. She then begins to explore a series of intangible, seemingly opposite qualities: selfish and generous, mean and kind, a scaredy-cat and brave. The gorgeous, colorful illustrations clearly convey these complexities and contradictions that define and exist simultaneously within a person: the protagonist likes to dance and sing in front of family, but does not like to dance or sing in front of a crowd. She does not want to go to parties, but then does not want to leave the party. The story's stunning conclusion will inspire readers to proudly be who they are and provide plenty of discussion opportunities for readers. This book is an outstanding and affirming story. Back matter includes an author's note describing the incident that inspired the book. VERDICT Srinivasan's latest offering is a universal story that belongs in all collections.--Olivia Gorecke, Cape May Cty. Lib., Ocean View, NJCopyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.