Bound To Stay Bound

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Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 05/01/2021 When a brown-skinned young girl’s friends ask what she’ll be when she grows up, her responses are fanciful: astronaut, unicorn, and clown, and her friends reply, “What will you really be?” For guidance, she looks to her abuela, who encourages her to listen to her heart. The subsequent pages reveal her growing, grounded inspiration in warm, evocatively illustrated spreads. Looking at nearby homes, she considers being a builder; a fruit tree brings thoughts of being a farmer, “planting wonder and change.” Maybe she’ll teach, or she’ll create art, like Abuela. However, one thing’s certain: “When I grow up . . . I will be me.” Vibrant, charming artwork interweaves imaginative scenes with realistic scenarios, and throughout, bright strokes of color swirl across the scenes as the possibilities occur to her. While the girl’s lyrical narrative can read as older (“I will be an explorer of the lands where my roots were born”), this is nevertheless a thought-provoking and reassuring take on the “what will I be when I grow up” genre of picture book, with lots of read-aloud appeal. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 05/01/2021 PreS-K—All the other children, one tan with a mop of black hair, another Black with natural hair, and a third, white with orange hair, nag the heroine to say what she will be when she grows up. "Clown" and "unicorn" as choices do not satisfy them, so she, with light brown skin and two skinny black braids, goes to her abuela in the art studio where bright paints and pots are lined up. Abuela wisely provides the answer: "Listen." The child listens to her heart and then paints the loftiest of dreams, from building a home that welcomes everyone to walking the roads her ancestors built, from healing bones to mending hearts. The dimension and scale of the answers grow interplanetary, and her abuela reminds her that if she needs help, many hands can accomplish what one person cannot. This is a prayer to personal power, a license to dream big, and permission to keep moving forward, beyond proscribed or limiting roles. In the end, the child and abuela leave the art studio, having finished a giant mural on which some of these plans have been painted. The illustrator's friendly scenes of zeal and cooperation will inspire others to aim high, and the message of the book is delivered lightly, but well. VERDICT Turning a common question of childhood into a substantive quest, this imaginative set of plans will have other children charting their own course through the stars.—Kimberly Olson Fakih, School Library Journal - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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