I Am Thinking My Life

Bala Kids. Feb. 2022. 32p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781611808971.
PreS-Gr 1–In her debut picture book, Atwater creates an empowering look at imagining the life you want to live. Through the pages, readers see a beautiful Black girl with large eyes and beads adorning her locs. The story follows her through her daily life of playing outside with blocks and other toys, eating dinner with her family, and getting ready for bed. She constantly creates and imagines her make-believe world and her place in it. Though the text is very sparse, with one to two sentences per page, Atwater and Lewis build emotion over the course of the story that will have readers cheering for the heroine. Lewis’s contemporary cartoon-style illustrations are full of joy in vivid colors. Challenges in the book are framed as storms, which are visually appealing. The story is well-suited for read-alouds where connections can be drawn and independent context provided. An author’s note concludes the book and shares Atwater’s own struggles in envisioning and building her life.
VERDICT A welcome addition to early elementary and public libraries where Kobi Yamada and Peter H. Reynolds’s work circulates well.

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