Just Ask! : Be Different, Be Brave, Be You
by Sotomayor, Sonia; López, Rafael (ILT)

The boundary-breaking Supreme Court Justice and the award-winning author of Book Fiesta present 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. Simultaneous eBook. Illustrations.

Sonia Sotomayor was born in the Bronx, New York. She earned a BA from Princeton University and a JD from Yale Law School. She served as Assistant District Attorney in New York County, and then as a litigator at Pavia & Harcourt. In 1991, President George H. W. Bush nominated her to the US District Court, Southern District of New York. In 1997, President William Jefferson Clinton nominated her to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009, becoming the first Latina to ever hold such a high position. She is the author of Turning Pages, My Beloved World, and The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor.

Rafael López (rafaellopez.com) won Pura Belpré medals for Drum Dream Girl and Book Fiesta, and has also received three Pura Belpré honors, two Américas Book Awards, and the 2017 Tomás Rivera Children's Book Award and Society of Illustrators Original Art Silver Medal. His work has been featured in Communication Arts, American Illustration Annual, Graphic Design USA, and Huffington Post. He's a founder of San Diego's Urban Art Trail movement, created seven US Postal Stamps, and created official posters for the '08 and '12 Obama-Biden campaigns. Follow him on Twitter @RafaelLopezArt.

*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-our whole world really-more 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. Preschool-Grade 3. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Drawing on her experiences as a child with juvenile diabetes, the Supreme Court justice addresses kids' curiosity about disability and illness. "Each of us grows in our own way," says Sonia, a Latina child based on the author, as she and her friends plant a garden. Just as each plant has a "different color, different shape, and different purpose," kids are "all different too." Encouraging curious readers to "JUST ASK," Sonia and 11 friends introduce their respective disabilities and chronic illnesses—ranging from blindness to nut allergies—by asking such questions as "How do you use your senses?" and "Are you really good at something?" The kids' matter-of-fact explanations blend strengths and difficulties. Bianca, who has dyslexia, "love[s] learning by doing things"; Manuel, who has ADHD, "can get frustrated when [they] really feel the need to move around even though [they're] supposed to sit still." Though the number of conditions may tax younger readers' attention spans, kids with those conditions who "don't feel ready to explain" will appreciate the text's inclusiveness; as Sonia acknowledges, "Not eve ryone is comfortable answering questions about themselves." Enlivening the familiar theme, L√≥pez's bold figures, vibrant colors, and close perspective welcome readers into a garden bursting with assorted blossoms, insects, and birds. Refreshingly, most characters present as kids of color of various heritages, ranging from black and Latinx to South and Southeast Asian. One presents white. An affirmative, delightfully diverse overview of disabilities. (Informational picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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