Author: Ramos, NoNieqa
Beauty, who is of Taino Indian, African, and Boricua heritage, was taught to be strong and proud, but hatred toward people who look like her bruises her heart until her community opens her eyes to the truth.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (12/01/21)
School Library Journal (03/25/22)
Booklist (+) (01/01/22)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2022 *Starred Review* This ode to Puerto Rican culture and Black pride opens as Beauty’s parents prepare for her birth. More than anything, they want their daughter to be safe and loved, so once she is born, they surround her with family and their rich culture. They teach her to become bilingual in English and Spanish and they participate in the Puerto Rican Day parade while Beauty is still too little to march. As Beauty grows older, the self-confidence she was raised to feel takes a hit as she becomes aware of the hate and racism in the world around her. Quickly, her family and neighbors rally, surrounding the girl with positivity, love, and stories of her Taíno and African heritage. They remind her that “Spanish is magic . . . / Black is beauty-ful. / Black is a power.” Through these experiences, Beauty’s pride and confidence in being a Boricua are restored with even greater understanding; the girl is woke. Escobar, who illustrated Anika Aldamuy Denise’s acclaimed Planting Stories (2019), uses influences from graffiti and mural art in this book’s illustrations, a perfect nod to the story’s urban landscape. Her use of color taps into the story’s emotions, and the Puerto Rican flag is woven through much of the artwork. An authentic and affirming celebration of culture, community, and self-acceptance. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/25/2022 K-Gr 2—Ramos (Your Mama) continues to celebrate the strength and beauty of women and girls in a modern tale reminiscent of Sleeping Beauty. Surrounded by love even before she is born, Beauty is raised on a steady dose of family and pride in her Puerto Rican heritage and community. When Beauty hears racist comments on television directed at people who look like her and her family, she questions her sense of identity and self-worth, which are eventually restored by those she loves and who love her. Escobar's vivid, detailed illustrations are a feast for the eyes. The text is a lyrical mix of English and Spanish, blended beautifully; this is not a text that rhymes, but it is solidly rhythmic and engaging. It's ideal for read-alouds, and may resonate even more for parents than with their young children. VERDICT Invite readers to listen in on a tale for fans of fractured fairy tales and the trickster tales of Yuyi Morales. A recommended purchase for libraries serving young children.—Monisha Blair - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.