Veo, Veo, I See You

Atheneum. Sept. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781665911917. BL.
PreS-Gr 3–Readers join Marisol, younger brother Pepito, and their mother in a game of “I Spy” around the neighborhood in this charming story. The Latinx culture of the family is reflected in their speech, names, warm skin tones, and the delightful food Mami prepares. Mami speaks Spanish and the children reply in English during the game. The cafe where Mami works has been closed during the shelter-in-place phase of the recent pandemic. Marisol asks if “other people have work?” and Mami replies that those who are “muy necesarios” are still on the job. As the family takes a meal to their cousin’s home, they notice one essential worker after another. Collage illustrations capture scenes of bus drivers, pharmacists, firefighters, and others as they maintain essential services for the community. Sidewalks are nearly empty, many of the workers are people of color, and everyone wears a mask, reflecting the lockdown phase of the pandemic. As the author’s note explains, and as some young readers may already need reminding, Marisol’s final salute to the workers echoes the #clapbecausewecare movement in 2020 that let essential workers know they were not invisible.
VERDICT Recommended for those building their collection of titles covering the COVID-19 pandemic, but this is also a wonderful choice for expanding bilingual titles on offer.

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