America My Love America My Heart

America My Love America My Heart cover
America My Love America My Heart by Daria Peoples-Riley

By Daria Peoples-Riley
Greenwillow, 2021
32 pages

Age 8 and older

“America, the Brave. America, the Bold. / America to Have. America to Hold.” A picture book in which the opening lines suggest the celebratory and devotional goes on to asks unflinching, essential questions in a second-person narrative addressing America in the voice of individual Black and brown children. “Do you love the way I speak? In English? Yes? Spanish? No? … Do you love me when I raise my hand? My head? My voice? / When I whisper? When I SHOUT? … Do you love my black? Do you love my brown? …. America, I am you. America, you are me.” Muted illustrations in shades of blue and gray with touches of red show diverse Black and brown-skinned children in a work that some readers and listeners will find affirming, others challenging, as it invites deep consideration of how the ways they experience “America” both individually and collectively may differ depending on who they are, and reflection on whether America loves, or even accepts, all of its people freely and without prejudice.  ©2021 Cooperative Children’s Book Center