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Mixed Media Roundup: May 2022


Be You

By Peter H. Reynolds
Reviewed by Mary Ma

This book begins with a reassuring parental tone: “You are born to be so many things. My wish for you—no matter where your journey leads—is for you to always … Be You!” “Be you” means to be curious, adventurous, connected, persistent, different, kind, and brave. It means that you can be your own thinker and choose your own direction. It also means taking time to be alone to connect with yourself: “Hear your own thoughts—your inner voice. Listen to your heart.”

Created by New York Times bestselling author Peter H. Reynolds, the brief rhyming sentences on each page unfold different aspects of being one’s true self, and the illustrations expand on it in ways readers will find visually uplifting. Christian parents can use this book to talk to their children about their God-given uniqueness.(Orchard Books)

King Richard

Reviewed by Darrell L. Delaney

King Richard is a movie about tennis players Venus and Serena Williams and their dad, “King Richard” (Will Smith). Smith’s performance is Oscar worthy because he truly becomes the character, down to his mannerisms, speech, heart, attitude, and conviction. Richard Williams uses some unconventional methods to train his girls to be professional tennis players, including a detailed 78-page plan for their whole career he wrote before they were even born. Most of what Richard predicted came true. 

This made me think of our God and how he has planned our lives down to every detail. Just like King Richard, who predicted what his daughters would be and then helped them to become just that, God has predestined us to live for him and then helps us to become like his Son. That’s good news. (Warner Bros)

A Perfect Day 

By Jennifer Yerkes
Reviewed by Sonya VanderVeen Feddema  

What makes for a perfect day? In author-illustrator Jennifer Yerkes’ vision of a pure and flawless day, a morning begins in peaceful harmony with the music of nature: the chirp-chirp of a yellow bird, the cree-cree of crickets, the buzzing of bees, and the croaking of a frog. Soon joining in are the whooshing of the wind in tall grasses, the hissing of a slithering snake, and the rah-rah of a fox. As the song continues throughout the day, it is interrupted by the roll of drums—thunder!—and the crash of cymbals—lightning! Then maracas—pelting rain—mark the rhythm. Simple narration and vibrant illustrations capture for young children the wonder and majesty of God’s creation and inspire gratitude for the music and sounds of God’s world. ‎(Eerdmans Books for Young Readers) 

Room to Dream

By Kelly Yang 
Reviewed by Sonya VanderVeen Feddema  

In this third book in the Front Desk series, 12-year-old Mia Tang is bursting with excitement because she will be returning to China with her parents to visit the family and community they left behind five years before to immigrate to the United States. Along with their friend Hank, Mia and her parents experience the contrasting realities of China’s old ways and the nation’s exceptionally rapid modernization. Author Kelly Yang once again adroitly tackles themes of discrimination, bullying, colorism, poverty, economic greed, and sexism. Her profound insight into the difficulties immigrants face is a result of her own experience as a child of Chinese immigrants who moved to California and operated a motel much like the fictional Calivista. Some profanity. (Scholastic Press) 

The Lowdown

Mutual Flourishing in Marriage: In Choosing Us, Gail Song Bantum and Brian Bantum reveal the lessons, mistakes, and principles that have helped them navigate race, family history, and gender dynamics in their 20-plus years of marriage while inspiring readers to pursue mutual flourishing in their marriages. (Brazos)

Obi-Wan Kenobi: The series begins 10 years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, in which Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his greatest defeat: the corruption and downfall of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker. (May 25, Disney+)

Journey Into the Unknown with Doctor Strange: In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the Marvel Cinematic Universe unlocks the multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before. (Marvel Studios)

The Book Woman’s Daughter: In this sequel to the beloved Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson, Cussy Mary’s daughter, Honey Lovett, travels through Appalachia to bring books to those who need them most and learns that she has to fight for herself just as she is fighting for others. (May 3, Sourcebooks Landmark)

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