Bound To Stay Bound

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 Laxmi's mooch
 Author: Anand, Shelly

 Publisher:  Kokila (2021)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [31] p., col. ill., 22 x 28 cm

 BTSB No: 057750 ISBN: 9781984815651
 Ages: 4-8 Grades: K-3

 Mustaches -- Fiction
 Personal appearance -- Fiction
 Self-confidence -- Fiction
 East Indian Americans -- Fiction

Price: $22.58

After Laxmi's friend Zoe points out the hairs on her lip, Laxmi is very self-conscious until her East Indian parents help her to accept and celebrate her appearance.

 Illustrator: Ali, Nabi H.

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Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: LG
   Reading Level: 2.60
   Points: .5   Quiz: 513106

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (12/15/20)
   School Library Journal (00/01/21)
   Booklist (+) (03/15/21)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/02/21)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 01/01/2021 Gr 1–3—Laxmi is a South Asian girl, sporting dark hair, tan skin, and tiny dark hairs above her upper lip. Her mooch, or mustache, becomes the topic of conversation one day at school, causing Laxmi to become extremely self-conscious about all of her body hair. At home, Laxmi asks her parents about her mooch; they, in return, quell Laxmi's insecurities by comparing her to other beautiful people and creatures who have hair elsewhere than their heads. The next day, Laxmi proudly displays her mooch, inviting her classmates to celebrate their own—real or not—along with her. Beautifully illustrated using a wide array of colors, Laxmi's world is filled with people of many skin shades, body types, and cultural backgrounds. The images pair delightfully with the text, propelling the story forward and connecting readers to Laxmi and her life. Additionally, Laxmi invites readers into her story at the beginning and the end, breaking the fourth wall and making children feel seen in a safe, friendly way. Mid-length text makes this story well suited to kids, whether as a read aloud or an independent read. Hindi words blend seamlessly into the dialogue, requiring no translation; however, these words also appear on the endpapers with accompanying visuals to reiterate this potentially new vocabulary. VERDICT Readers of all ages will appreciate the message of self-love presented within Laxmi's story, which takes on body positivity for a relatively young audience in an uplifting way.—Mary Lanni, formerly at Denver P.L. - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 03/15/2021 *Starred Review* Laxmi, an Indian American girl, kicks off this story of affirmation by introducing herself—“Hi!”—along with her mooch, the faint hair above her lip, which she invites readers to take a closer look at. Laxmi discovered her mooch at recess, when a blonde girl playfully suggested that Laxmi should be a cat because of her whiskers. This made her deeply self-conscious, noticing little hairs all over her body, and Ali captures the anxiety through the girl’s expressive eyes and posture as she hides her mooch, while a crowd of imagined word bubbles of people whispering “meow” presses in around her. Back home—where both the text and art color scenes with Indian culture—she shares her distress, but her mom and dad, both rocking mooches, assure her that she descends from a long, proud line of women with moochay. “Everyone has a mooch, really.” Next recess, Laxmi spots the faint hairs coloring her blonde friend’s upper lip—to her delight. When another boy asks about his mooch, the girls can’t find a hint of mustache, so he lines up, along with every other moochless child, to have Laxmi draw one on his face. Anand’s story is simple and purposeful, but it's a much-needed purpose, sweetly delivering a message of body positivity around a common insecurity that is rarely addressed. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.

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