Becoming Vanessa by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
From Alfred A. Knopf:
For readers of Alma and How She Got Her Name and The King of Kindergarten, this story will help kids just starting school transform from timid caterpillars into beautiful butterflies so they can love who they are.
On Vanessa’s first day of school, her parents tell her it will be easy to make friends. Vanessa isn’t so sure. She wears her fanciest outfit so her new classmates will notice her right away. They notice, but the attention isn’t what she’d hoped for. As the day goes on, she feels more self-conscious. Her clothes are too bright, her feather boa has way too many feathers, and even her name is too hard to write.
The next day, she picks out a plain outfit, and tells her mom that her name is too long. She just wants to blend in, with a simple name like the other girls–why couldn’t her parents have named her Megan or Bella? But when her mother tells her the meaning behind her name, it gives her the confidence she needs to introduce her classmates to the real Vanessa.
“This classic school story offers a full range of emotions and situates this life-loving Black child in affirming family and school settings. A welcome addition to every shelf.”–Kirkus
“Bright, childlike mixed-media illustrations with a variety of patterns will appeal to youngsters, and the idea of a name having a meaning will be new to many children.”–Booklist