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Me and Ms. Too
2022
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Publishers Weekly Review
When narrator Molly's father marries a local librarian, Molly isn't ready to embrace the newly blended family. "Ms. Too" (so nicknamed after the child begins asking, "Is she coming too?") changes the wallpaper, and "her books took up all the room in the house," writes Ruby (Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All) in her picture book debut--never mind that Molly didn't care for the old wallpaper and loves books. But readers will notice that the alienation isn't entirely one-sided. Ho's (Eyes That Kiss in the Corners) digital slice-of-life illustrations portray Ms. Too as more of an observer of her stepchild than a participant: "She took me to the pool, but she didn't like to splash." And when the white family gathers in the living room, Ms. Too's face is totally obscured by a book. Then one day at the zoo, Ms. Too and Molly hear how a "cranky and lonely" big cat bonded with a stray kitten. "There are all kinds of families," Ms. Too says--and the realization turns the tide for both adult and child. Emotional rapprochement is a tricky topic, but it's handled here with admirable subtlety, portraying one family's work to arrive at their own understanding. Ages 4--8. Author's agent: Tina Dubois, ICM Partners. (Mar.)
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