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Parents' Guide to

Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You

By Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Gorgeous, upbeat book about strength in our differences.

Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Kids say: Not yet rated

This charming, beautifully illustrated picture book is a pleasure to read and share with children. Young readers who have any of the varied differences that the 12 featured characters live with rarely see themselves portrayed with the respect and honor that Sonia Sotomayor and Rafael Lopez reserve for them in Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, and Be You, which will make this an especially meaningful read for such kids. Even kids who aren't living with any of the challenges that are covered will be able to connect to the characters' feelings and experiences.

And the artwork is gorgeous -- vibrant, saturated colors portray detailed scenes in a vast garden and impart a sense of joy, while the kids of various ethnicities, genders, and abilities happily contribute to their joint project. Though the garden as a symbol for the beauty in human differences might go over younger kids' heads, older readers will have no problem identifying this main theme. The question at the end of each two-spread page helps kids stay engaged with both the book (and any adults reading with them). The lovely art, positive messages about asking questions/knowing yourself, and the diversity of the characters make this a great pick for kids of all ages.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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