Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You
Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You

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Annotation: Presents a celebration of the world's diversity that explains why different people make the world more vibrant and wonderful, just the way a variety of plants and flowers enhance a garden.
Catalog Number: #195253
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Lopez, Rafael,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-525-51412-0 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-6284-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-525-51412-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-6284-7
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2019949376
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 -Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor opens her celebration of diversity with a letter to readers in which she writes about her experience growing up in the 1960s and being diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. She compares communities to a garden in which each plant has a different purpose. Readers are then introduced to a diverse group of children who create a beautiful garden. Each child tells a bit about themselves and then asks a question that is answered by the following character. On the final spread, readers are shown the beautiful garden now completed and filled with all the children from the story. This is a hopeful and sunny exploration of the many things that make us unique. The clever question-and-answer structure and conversational tone encourages readers to answer the questions themselves, while the informative text gives caregivers a useful foundation of information to begin a conversation. López's dynamic and vibrant illustrations emphasize each character's unique abilities with inventive pairings of natural elements. On one page a young Sotomayor is shown sitting in the center of an enormous red rose with prominent thorns. The text explains that because she is diabetic, she must prick her finger several times a day to measure the sugar in her blood. Vijay, who is Deaf, is shown standing next to a young sapling and signing "tree" in American Sign Language. VERDICT A thoughtful and empathetic story of inclusion that encourages readers to ask questions and educate themselves about their peers. A first purchase.-Laken Hottle, Providence Community Library, RI
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* In this inviting picture book, 12 friends are planting a garden. Each child is distinct in appearance and personality, but other differences are harder to see or to understand. Seven-year-old Sonia tells of pricking her finger to measure her blood sugar and giving herself insulin shots to manage diabetes, which she briefly explains. Next, Rafael talks about having asthma and using an inhaler when he has trouble breathing. Ten more children in succession talk about their wheelchair, blindness, deafness, dyslexia, autism, stuttering, Tourette's syndrome, ADHD, nut allergy, or Down syndrome. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who began giving herself insulin shots at age seven, offers an amiable, matter-of-fact text in which each child handles a challenge with courage and grace. Created with pencil, watercolor, and acrylic, then digitally manipulated, the vibrant artwork celebrates these self-assured kids, shown working, communicating, and interacting with nature. The garden becomes a metaphor for a community where "all the ways we are different make our neighborhood r whole world really re interesting and fun." Along the way, Sotomayor quietly encourages those who don't understand someone else's differences to "just ask" that person or a parent. Addressing topics too often ignored, this picture book presents information in a direct and wonderfully child-friendly way.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (8/1/19)
Schneider Family Book Award
School Library Journal (10/1/19)
Word Count: 1,066
Reading Level: 4.1
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 505958 / grade: Lower Grades

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and award-winning artist Rafael Lopez create a kind and caring book about the differences that make each of us unique.

A #1 New York Times bestseller!

Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award!

Feeling different, especially as a kid, can be tough. But in the same way that different types of plants and flowers make a garden more beautiful and enjoyable, different types of people make our world more vibrant and wonderful.

In Just Ask, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids (and people of all ages) have. Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges--and looks at the special powers those kids have as well. As the kids work together to build a community garden, asking questions of each other along the way, this book encourages readers to do the same: When we come across someone who is different from us but we're not sure why, all we have to do is Just Ask.

Praise for Just Ask:

* "Addressing topics too often ignored, this picture book presents information in a direct and wonderfully child-friendly way." --Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

"An affirmative, delightfully diverse overview of disabilities." --Kirkus Reviews

"A hopeful and sunny exploration of the many things that make us unique [with] dynamic and vibrant illustrations [that] emphasize each character’s unique abilities. . . . A thoughtful and empathetic story of inclusion." --SLJ

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