Mark Kanemura is a voice in the GLBTQ+ community. However, their story, I Am a Rainbow, while personal to them, has been told before. This does not mean it should not be told again, it just means if you are looking for a new approach to the subject of being yourself and being a queer child, this is not completely that.
We follow Mark from home, to school, back home, then with some special friends. Along the way Mark realizes that confidence is not that hard to have, especially with your special cape his family gave him. But of course, something happens (not so spoiler, he loses his cape) and he worries his new friends will not like him now. Of course, we know that his friends like him just because he is himself, and he lets them be themselves (in all their loud, colorful, silliness), too. Kamemura’s and Steve Foxe’s message is one of family, self-acceptance, and love.
It is the art of Richard Merritt is really the freshness you might be looking for. With nods to things like his involvement with Janet Jackson (there is a fun scene when Mark is dancing that is a wonderful and terribly unsubtle acknowledgement of Ms. Jackson), we learn how wonderful Mark’s world is with all the rainbow colors, with all the different details and people that are in that world. The details and colors are bold, could be considered a bit too polished, but it is a “today’s youth” aimed book.
In May 2023 I will be looking for a physical copy and this was my Edelweiss pick at lunch the other day.