Parents' Guide to

Harriet Gets Carried Away

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Fanciful story of birthday girl spirited away by penguins.

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In one seamless story, this book introduces an exuberant multiracial girl who has two dads, sends her on a fantastic hot-air balloon journey with penguins, and throws her a rollicking rooftop party. Harriet Gets Carried Away's inclusive values are all the more powerful because they're implicit. Author-illustrator Jessie Sima doesn't call particular attention to the fact that Harriet has two dads or that her family and friend group are multiracial; it's simply her accepted, everyday reality. The whimsical fantasy elements of the story are presented as equally unsurprising, and fun and adventurous.

The art's dominated by deep muted purples, and it's easier on the adult eye than Sima's previous book, Not Quite Narwhal, which was in glittery, unicorn-friendly pastels. Some pages have fun perspectives; for instance, a bird's-eye view of a street crossing, and a glimpse through a subway window that shows the dads only in torso. The dads are clearly caring, pictured with a gentle arm around their daughter as they steady her on the subway, and Harriet is just the sort of inventive, resourceful young girl who can serve as a strong model for readers.

Book Details

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