I Am a Rainbow!

Little, Brown. May 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316167789.
Gr 1-3–Mark is a totally confident Hawaiian kid, putting on shows and strutting his stuff when he’s at home. At school, where he’s picked on, it’s a different story. When his parents get him a beautiful rainbow cape, he develops the confidence to be himself and meet new friends, who are also unique in their own ways. But will he keep his newly found confidence when his cape goes missing? Mark, his family, and many of his friends have brown skin; his friends are diverse, including a child using a wheelchair, and another who looks overweight. The rainbow motif, featured throughout the book, is a well-known LGBTQIA+ symbol, although no characters’ queer identities are mentioned overtly. The digital illustrations reinforce the bright, fun personalities of Mark and his friends, with rainbow colors flowing through the pages. Kanemura is a dancer and a social media personality, so the book may appeal to his fans as well as children.
VERDICT While the story is far from unique, this book ably retells it, while showcasing a lot of diversity.

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