Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook have coauthored several books for children, including Ten Lucky Leprechauns (Scholastic) and Mouse Makes Words: A Phonics Reader (Random House). Kathryn is a school psychologist and Deborah is a kindergarten teacher. They both live in WI. Learn more at helinghembrook.com. Rosie Butcher lives in East Yorkshire and spends her summers in Sweden. Follow her @scrimmle.
"A picture-book celebration of individuality and diversity. Helig and Hembrook's text opens with the lines, 'In all the world over, / this much is true: / You're somebody special. / There's only one you.' The art depicts a white-appearing child with red pigtails, first on the floor, drawing, beside a big dog, then getting dressed as the dog sits on the bed and a woman, also white, peeks in. The next scene depicted in the digital, cartoon-style art shows the child hugging the woman and about to get on a school bus with a gaggle of diverse children with varying skin tones, hair textures and colors, and visible disabilities (one child wears a hearing aid, another wears glasses, a third uses a forearm crutch, and a fourth uses a wheelchair). As the rhyming text continues, it celebrates the diversity of these children not just in terms of their identities, but by commenting on their personalities, their talents, and ultimately their families. At book's end, the first child is revealed to have two moms when they both pick her up at the end of the school day, the family dog in tow. 'Families are families, / but soon you will find / that each can be different-- / a 'best for them' kind, ' reads the accompanying, inclusive text. Affirming and welcome." --Kirkus