Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You
by Sonia Sotomayor ill by Rafael López
Sotomayor has penned a thoughtful picture book, exploring and celebrating differences. She introduces the concept with a garden analogy. Sonia and her friends are planting a garden filled with an assortment of plants. Some produce flowers, others fruit. They have a range of characteristics and respond to different types of growing conditions. Like plants, each person is unique, possessing a variety of distinguishing attributes.
Subsequent pages introduce children with distinctive characteristics and circumstances. Beginning with Sonia's diabetes, individual children are introduced who live with asthma, dyslexia, autism, Tourette's syndrome, attention deficit/hyperactivity, food allergies, and Down Syndrome as well as those needing assistance with mobility, vision, hearing, or speech.
Each child is a individual with a name and special personality. Each one experiences a challenge.
Do you use a tool to help your body?
How do you use your senses?
Are you really good at something?
What do you like to talk about?
Do you ever wonder if people understand you?
What's helpful to you?
End papers showcase line drawings of children mentioned in the text and are interspersed with fanciful plants similar in size to the active and energetic kids.
Images radiate joy. Children with disabilities are not pitied. They are resourceful, productive people. The world is a better and happier place because of these youngsters. Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You is a cheerful and encouraging picture book to share with children everywhere, helping them to understand and appreciate differences.
In her introductory letter Sonia Sotomayor describes living with juvenile diabetes. She relates her feeling that others perceived her need to inoculate herself with insulin as wrong. She wants to dispel this false notion.
This book will be an important and welcome addition to home, school, public, and classroom libraries. It can be placed in nurse, doctor, therapist, and other health care provider offices. Consider adding this book to after-school programs, community and church youth centers. The message is universal.
Also available in Spanish and audio editions. Respect the learning styles for a variety of children by ordering copies in all three formats.