“My name is Marisol McDonald, and I don’t match,” the flame-haired, brown-skinned, fearless, Peruvian Scottish American little girl announces. Her brother points out how her clothes clash, but Marisol loves wearing her green polka dots and purple stripes together. She prefers peanut butter and jelly burritos, and she’s proud to speak Spanish, English, and sometimes both at the same time. When her friends can’t agree on playing pirates or playing soccer, Marisol suggests “soccer-playing pirates,” but her friends seems to lack her limitless imagination.
When her buddy Ollie challenges her with “‘Marisol, you couldn’t match if you wanted to!’” Marisol’s response is something akin to ‘bring it on.’ The next day, she dons an all-orange ensemble, plays pirates at recess (grumbling about why pirates can’t play soccer, too), eats her peanut butter and jelly on mushy bread, and even does some “boring” art. Noticing Marisol’s less-than-sparkling-self, her teacher hands Marisol a special note reminding her that she’s “simply marvelous” just the way she is. She also signs her full name: Ms. Tamiko Apple. Hapas unite!
By the time Marisol has skipped home, she’s back to being the uniquely mismatched and marvelous Marisol McDonald …
Award-winning author Monica Brown – whose extended family is Peruvian, Spanish, Scottish, Italian, Jewish, Nicaraguan, Mexican, Chilean, and African! – revels in every child’s individuality, turning her own experiences of being told she and her cousins “don’t match” into this infectiously engaging, empowering celebration. Illustrator Sara Palacios gleefully infuses Marisol with constant movement (her pigtails an indicator of her happiness level), her room filled with creative clutter, her clothing an especially eye-popping reflection of Marisol’s irrepressible energy.
As the kiddies head back to school, Marisol McDonald is a ‘simply marvelous’ book to sneak into their packs … and share with their libraries, as well. That’s not just a hint, that’s an order!