Trust, a playwright and voiceover artist, eases younger readers through the world of bullying and stereotyping in this debut, bringing home the emotional impact of being teased while smoothly pointing out cultural nuances that many children may be unaware of (“So many words here are brand new./ The way the words are spelled is too”). The rhyming text takes pleasure in Daisy Mae’s decidedly British words—candy floss in place of cotton candy, telly instead of TV—and invites readers to the fun of new experiences while encouraging cultural awareness. In the end the phrases that trip up Daisy Mae with her new friends become a teaching opportunity, with Trust’s glossary of American versus English terms.
Adhi’s visual representations of multi-ethnic schoolkids strike the right mix of natural and buoyant to transport readers into Daisy Mae’s world and illuminate her perspective. Parents will feel the pull of lost innocence when Daisy Mae works to Americanize her speech and will applaud her father’s corresponding wisdom – “Be proud of who you are,/ and share your travels from afar./ And though you’re from a different place,/ we’re all alike in any case.” Trust and Adhi have crafted a meaningful portrayal of cultural diversity as a reason for confidence and celebration.
Takeaway: A moving and fun introduction to cultural nuances for readers of all ages.
Great for fans of: Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw’s Same, Same but Different, Yangsook Choi’s The Name Jar.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A