B My Name Is Boy

Doubleday. May 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593487129.
K-Gr 4–This book takes a global tour with a structure of two compound sentences for each letter of the alphabet, which in turn corresponds with a country (mostly) starting with that letter and then an action that does, too. Most pages follow the same template: “A, my name is ARCHIE, and my brother’s name is ARLO. We come from AUSTRALIA, and we can ADVOCATE.” (Neither Arlo nor Archie are Indigenous.) Cooper from Canada camps. Thobias from Tanzania teaches. And SiXto from MeXico eXplores. These sentences are accompanied by charming illustrations of people doing the activities described. The environments appear to match the country named, and people of a wide variety of skin tones and physical abilities are depicted. However, almost all the characters have the same slim frame, and everyone’s faces—even the adults with beards—are virtually identical: long eyelashes, rosy cheeks, and full red lips. A separate volume about girls is available. A final page prompts readers to share their names and what they can do. A map at the back shows where the characters are from, with a key matching the location to the country name.
VERDICT It’s not meant to be a serious world tour, but random, almost thoughtless choices make this a less-than-essential purchase.

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