We Are a Song

HarperCollins. May 2023. 32p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780062970541.
PreS-Gr 1–Inspired by some of the author’s own experience growing up in a multicultural family, this gentle story follows young mixed-race siblings Arturo and Emilyn as they spend the day helping their amah get ready for a family party. As the kids visit Ta, then Yeh Yeh, and Abuelo, as well as other relatives to gather food and decorations, they consider how every person offers something special, yet they combine to form a family “like different ingredients mixed together,” colors of the rainbow, or musical notes in a song. Emilyn composes a poem about this realization and the duo reads it to their baby brother at the end of the party. Throughout the story, the brother and sister are invariably kind and supportive of each other in an exemplary way that few siblings usually sustain in real life. Tu’s cozy cartoon-style mixed-media illustrations set against neighborhood backgrounds show scenes of family love and togetherness. A brief author’s note explains how figuring out her family in childhood was frequently “frustrating and lonely” though she eventually came to appreciate its uniqueness.
VERDICT An uplifting celebration of diversity and family, sure to be welcome in many collections.

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