Moua, Doua. Today Is Different. Kim Holt, Illus. Picture Book. Carolrhoda, 04/2022. pp. PLB $17.99. 978-1-7284-3029-4. HIGH ADDITIONAL. GRADES K-3.
Best friends Kiara, who is Black, and Mai, who is Hmong American, protest police violence in this story that makes a sensitive subject accessible to elementary school students who likely have seen protest marches on television. The narrative is told in Mai’s first-person voice, making this a great addition to Hmong books for children. The text, using a few paragraphs per spread, clearly explains what is happening so even younger students will understand, but the length makes this best suited to older picture book readers. The full-color digital paint artwork resembles colored-pencil-and-ink, showing a diverse group of community members holding picket signs with phrases like “Hmong for Black Lives” and “No Justice, No Peace.” The book ends with an author’s note, a glossary, and a list titled “Ways to Be an Ally.”
Penny Peck, San Jose State University, iSchool