Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Lulu the One and Only review and giveaway - 6.09.2020

Lulu the One and Only
written by Lynnette Mawhinney
illustrated by Jennie Poh
published by Magination Press
June 9, 2020

* thank you to Barbara at Blue Slip Media for the review copy! *

A new picture book is published today and it is so important right now.  The racial tensions in our nation is at a high.  However, we're seeing a lot of peaceful protests, and we're seeing a lot of the younger generation come out and use their voice.  Working with today's youth, this is the time that we need to make sure Black voices are heard.  We need to amplify voices so there is equal representation of BIPOC characters and creators in the stories we share with young readers.

Today's book, Lulu the One and Only, seeks to do this.  The story features a mixed race main character who is grappling with questions about her family and the big question - "what are you?"  In a very straight forward voice, Lulu lets young readers know that questions like these are frustrating and hurtful.  She wonders, "the question is not what I am, but who I am."  Lulu talks about her frustrations with her older brother who tells her he has a power phrase he uses to answer that question.

Lulu thinks about the many words and characteristics that make up who she is to come up with her own power phrase.  And it's perfect timing because the very next day she is asked that question, but this time she has an answer for it.

At the end of the book is an author's note that is important for educators and parents to read.  Talking about race with kids and all of the complexities that make up families is empowering for young readers.  Speaking from her own background of being a biracial child, this #ownvoices authored picture book may give readers more to think about if they are asked about their identity.  While the book is straight to the point, it may be what a young child needs to hear and understand and process.  Lulu received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews, saying “All children will benefit from this pitch-perfect discussion of race, identity, complexity, and beauty.”

Be sure to check out and share the book trailer for Lulu the One and Only.

More about the author, and don't miss the curriculum guide in the bio!
Lynnette Mawhinney, PhD, is associate professor in the department of curriculum and instruction at the University of Illinois at Chicago helping to prepare future urban teachers for the classroom. She's written several academic books and articles. LULU THE ONE AND ONLY is her first children's book. Dr. Mawhinney is biracial, like her character Lulu, and an expert on teaching diverse populations and in urban environments. She lives in Chicago. To learn more, and to download a curriculum guide, visit her website: https://www.lynnettemawhinney.com/for-children.

Would you like to own a copy of Lulu the One and Only for your library?  Publisher Magination Press is generously giving away one copy (U.S. addresses only please).  Please enter using the Google form below.  Winner will be selected Tuesday, June 16th!


  1. This sounds like a wonderful, insightful, and timely story! Thanks so much for the great review!