I kept seeing Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You on several lists. And I was sure I had read it. Or was I just assuming I had? I was not completely sure, to be honest. And come to find out, I was assuming. I had picked up a copy of the book and put it away in my TBR list but had never actually read Sonia Sotomayor’s book. Therefore, the other day at lunch saw me eating a peanut butter sandwich (unfortunately I was out of jelly) and reading Just Ask!
The nice thing about this book is that it is not about Sotomayor. Now, that is not to say she is not a wonderful person to learn about, but the book (even though it uses her name for the character like her), is able to be relatable to anyone. We might be the character that is talking to us (the reader) about their situation. We might have a sibling, friend, family member or classmate like them. Each child is diverse in the issue they must deal with/overcome. Sonia must take insulin, another child uses a wheelchair, two have different forms of autism, two children are blind, one is deaf, and another has Tourette’s Syndrome, while another has ADHD. And despite their so-called disabilities or their differences, they are alike in other ways. And one of those ways is that they all want to plant the garden of the story.
Rafael Lopez created illustrations that are bold, bright, detailed and oddly not too crowed but fill the page with color, images, and pieces of the puzzle. It is a happy story, happy presentation of the illustrations and just a nice book. You could read one-on-one or to a group. All ages can enjoy. You can first read the illustrations, then the text, and of course, always have it read to you. It is a nice book for a personal library or a classroom/school library.