Gorman, Amanda

Change Sings: A Children's Anthem

(2) K-3 Illustrated by Loren Long. "I'm a movement that roars and springs, / There's a wave where my change sings." A dark-skinned, guitar-playing young protagonist serves as a sort of Pied Piper for positive change in this debut picture book by National Youth Poet Laureate Gorman. Sporting a big afro ponytail, she walks through town, helping wherever she's needed, as other children join her in cleaning up trash, planting flowers, painting storefront walls, and more. The illustrations' details point subtly to the children's unique identities--a variety of skin tones, a yarmulke, a wheelchair--but as the protagonist articulates the unifying themes of cooperation, self-esteem, and empowerment, they all work together to make change with the resources they have, including their own hands. Long's (Someone Builds the Dream, rev. 5/21) powerful acrylic and colored-pencil illustrations bring each scene to life. A mural recalling stained glass and depicting Martin Luther King Jr. is featured near the beginning of the book; another mural declaring "We Are the Change," which shows the protagonist and the other child activists joyfully playing music together, appears near the end. This inspiring call to action unambiguously suggests that every individual, regardless of age, can contribute to making the world a better place.


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