for My Footprints by Bao Phi and Basia Tran
After facing school bullies, Thuy sees her footprints in the snow on the way home as those of various animals in a story about the healing power of imaginative play. Once home, Thuy is reluctant to talk about what happened at school when her two moms ask her about the day, but her moms join in on Thuy’s footprint “game,” their questions and interaction gently probing even as they give their daughter space to process and act out her anger and hurt. Bao Phi’s exquisite writing captures Thuy’s rollercoaster of emotions. Basia Tran’s illustrations are tinged in ice blue, giving a sense of cold and snow, and her varying perspectives offer vistas of Thuy’s footprints, as well as what’s happening in her imagination. Together the words and picture tell a singular story, but one that many children will identify with, while leaving room to think about and interpret what is happening. Thuy and one of her moms, Momma Ngoc, are Vietnamese; Momma Arti is South Asian. (Ages 4–8)
CCBC Choices 2020. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020. Used with permission.
Every child feels different in some way, but Thuy feels "double different." She is Vietnamese American and she has two moms. Thuy walks home one winter afternoon, angry and lonely after a bully's taunts. Then a bird catches her attention and sets Thuy on an imaginary exploration. What if she could fly away like a bird? What if she could sprint like a deer, or roar like a bear? Mimicking the footprints of each creature in the snow, she makes her way home to the arms of her moms. Together, the three of them imagine beautiful and powerful creatures who always have courage - just like Thuy.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.