The Day You Begin is so incredibly beautiful. It took me some time to actually finish that first read-through, just savoring the words and pictures.

The Poet she is, Jacqueline Woodson’s latest picture book could withstand a lesser illustrator. Conversely, you could read The Day You Begin without reading a word. Together Woodson and Lopez craft a powerful narrative.

The message is one that emerges from an empathetic voice. You may feel the difference, and you may not feel ready to embrace your difference by putting your name to it, to claim it out loud, but a time will come when you are ready and you’ll find that "all at once, in the room where no one else is quite like you, / the world opens itself up a little wider / to make some space for you."

The Day You Begin tackles uncertainty by being certain about how beautiful and capable each child is. That each voice, each story (told in so many ways) is precious. As with Angelina, it took time, “your voice / stronger than it was a minute ago,” but once you see what happens…

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