Monday, April 1, 2024

HornBook review-Not perfect

 Not Perfect

by Maya Myers; illus. by Hyewon Yum

Preschool Porter/Holiday 40 pp.

4/24 9780823451708 $18.99

e-book ed. 9780823457472 $11.99

Not Little (rev. 9/21) protagonist Dot is not happy about not being perfect. While her multiracial family members excel

at their endeavors (sister is an artist, twin brothers are spelling bee champs, Mom has a black belt, Dad sings in a band,

and: “Even my cat is perfect”), Dot bakes lopsided cupcakes, kicks too-wide goals, and plays wrong notes on the piano.

At school, her best friend, Sam, shines in tidiness and rule-following, and Dot chooses him for her “person we admire”

project. Frustration grows and self-esteem plummets as her portrait of Sam doesn’t match what’s in her head. She rips

up her drawing, storms outside, angry-jumps on a trampoline, then dries her tears, gets back to work—and arrives at a

perfectly imperfect solution. is second book about Dot gives the realistic-seeming child plenty of support from

nonjudgmental adults, providing time and space to solve her own problems—and without the pressure of perfection.

Spare colored-pencil illustrations with lots of white space are particularly good at reflecting Dot’s feelings, from eager

and hopeful to self-conscious, mad, and sad, to relaxed, contented, and proud. “‘I made a lot of mistakes. It was really

hard.’ ‘But you did it,’ [Sam] says. ‘at’s true.’ I did a little bounce of happiness. ‘I did.’” ELISSA GERSHOWITZ