Bound To Stay Bound

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 Author: Harrison, Vashti

 Publisher:  Little, Brown (2023)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [56] p. (2 folded), col. ill., 27 cm

 BTSB No: 422650 ISBN: 9780316353229
 Ages: 4-8 Grades: K-3

 Personal appearance -- Fiction
 Identity (Psychology) -- Fiction
 Self-acceptance -- Fiction
 Growth -- Fiction

Price: $23.98

Praised for acting like a big girl when she is small, as a young girl grows, "big" becomes a word of criticism, until the girl realizes that she is fine just the way she is.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: LG
   Reading Level: 1.70
   Points: .5   Quiz: 521665

 Caldecott Medal, 2024
Coretta Scott King Author Honor, 2024
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, 2024

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (06/15/23)
   School Library Journal (+) (06/02/23)
   Booklist (+) (12/01/23)
 The Hornbook (+) (00/05/23)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 04/15/2023 *Starred Review* Award-winning author-illustrator Harrison paints a striking portrait of a Black girl standing tall and standing up to the biased judgments of a world that tries to cut her down in size. As an infant, adults praise the main character, remarking, “What a big girl you are!” As she grows, these same words are used to make her feel small. When she gets stuck in a swing, a teacher admonishes, “Don’t you think you’re too big for that?!” The child’s pain and sadness are palpable in the nuanced chalk pastel and digital illustrations. When she stands self-consciously in front of a mirror, the stinging words of playground jeers are printed on her body. At ballet class, her radiant pink leotard and tutu are muted in a shade of “husky gray,” and she becomes background scenery. With mounting anxiety, the young girl grows bigger and more constrained on each page as she internalizes unsolicited advice and negative comments (“Aren’t you too big to be crying?” “Why can’t you just fit in?”). Through self-love and self-acceptance, she is able to push out and hold space for herself. In an intimate author’s note, Harrison shares personal reflections and her own childhood experiences of sitting “in the crosshairs of adultification bias and anti-fat bias.” This emotionally and socially resonant picture book stands out with its exceptional strength, beauty, and grace. - Copyright 2023 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 06/02/2023 PreS-Gr 2—A nameless Black girl, mostly depicted in a pink tutu with her hair in Afro puffs, is bright, clever, talented, and helpful. When she was little, being told she was "a big girl" was a compliment. Actually, being a big girl "was good…until it wasn't." Humiliations on the playground and at dance class lead to offhand insults from teachers and mockery from peers. Their words hit hard and won't let go. As her body image worsens, she grows larger on the page, clearly uncomfortable with the space she takes up. Her previously pink ballerina costume is painted "husky gray" by her dance teacher. She grows so big she takes up the entire page spread, and that is when she breaks. As her tears flood around her, all the words that have been said about her float to the top. She gathers close the pink words—creative, graceful, BIG—and leaves the gray words—MOOSE, COW, too big. She gives those gray words back, telling their speakers how they hurt her. As she shrinks back to her true size, a girl offers to help her change, and she responds, "I like the way I am." Adorned in optimistic pink again, she dances off, her positive words trailing behind her. This book resonates with a potential emotional impact that is immense. The girl is the only character in full color; her peers and teachers are shaded characters against a pale pink background, a stylization that reinforces her isolation. Never offered comfort by anyone else, she takes charge of her emotional well-being. VERDICT This inspiring and highly relatable title could be used with readers of any age to discuss topics of body image and self-love. Recommended.—Elizabeth Lovsin - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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