Maybe You Might (Imogen Foxell & Anna Cunha)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Maybe You Might by Imogen Foxell and Anna Cunha, a striking story about the power of a single person’s actions to change the world.

A young child finds a seed in the barren former riverbed where they live, and decides to plant it in the ground. People attempt to convince them that the seed can’t grow in such harsh conditions – dry soil, high winds, brutal sunlight – but every day, the child diligently waters and tends to the seed’s growth and safety. The child is wise enough to know that nothing may come of these endeavors… but maybe something might. And as the seed grows from a sprout to a sapling to a fruit-baring tree, it begins to create even greater change in the surrounding community, and the child grows with it, watching as something so small – with love, patience, and hard work – brings about a better life.

Absolutely beautiful. Foxell’s narrative flawlessly does double duty as a literal tale of how vegetation can change an ecosystem, as well as a lovely metaphor for the cultivation and nurturing of both change and children. The key motif that sets this story apart is the “maybe” – it introduces an element of faith and the realistic idea that while change is often difficult to achieve, it never comes if we don’t try. Cunha’s rich artwork fits these themes perfectly, weaving in some gorgeous visual metaphors about love, creation, and growth. A few of rhymes in this British import don’t hit as smoothly in an American accent when read aloud, but the length is perfect for a storytime, and JJ loved it. Absolutely worth checking out, and Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Fly (Brittany J. Thurman)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Fly, written by Brittany J. Thurman and illustrated by Anna Cunha, a joyful tale of a little girl ready to show the world what she’s made of.

On Africa’s inner arm is a birthmark in the shape of her name. It inspires and guides her; today it leads her outside, where she sees a sign advertising a double-Dutch competition. She decides she wants to compete, despite never having double-Dutched before, certain that she has the raw talent. She tries to learn on her own, to no avail. She spends the week asking friends to show her how, but none of them know either. However, they do show her their own talents: stepping, dancing, tumbling, etc. The day of the competition, Africa has plenty of new skills… but she’s still never double-Dutched. Will she still be able to show what she’s made of?

Jubilant and uplifting. Africa’s story is one of community and courage, told in a accessible style with compelling text and rich, gorgeous illustrations. Spoiler alert, Africa does do well at the competition, but more importantly, she was brave enough to try something new, with the support of her friends and family and the knowledge they bestowed, all of which allowed her feet to fly. It’s a subtle metaphor and one that works wonderfully, especially when combined with the metaphor of Africa’s name and birthmark celebrating her heritage and Black identity. Thurman’s text is both lyrical and conversational, and lovely to read aloud; the deep colors and joyful energy of Cunha’s illustrations are a delight for the eyes. The length is perfect for a storytime, and JJ loved this one. A wonderful story of tenacity, friendship, and pride, and we recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)