Kid Review: Small-Girl Toni and the Quest for Gold by Giselle Anatol

 

About This Book:

A tall tale inspired by the life and works of Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison.

 

Young Toni knows that her stories are going to change the world. She’s good at spinning a yarn, and in fact, she thinks she might be able to spin her stories into gold if she tries hard enough. Maybe her stories can even lead her to buried treasure?
And so Toni sets out on a quest for gold with her siblings, telling tales and looking for a little magic at every turn. But when her quest doesn’t go quite as planned, Toni realizes that it’s all about how you tell a story in order to find the perfect ending.
Literary scholar Giselle Anatol and Coretta Scott King honoree Raissa Figueroa have crafted a wholly original tale inspired by the life and works of Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. Small-Girl Toni and the Quest for Gold honors one of America’s most important writers and is a testament to the power of storytelling.

 

*Review Contributed By Connie Reid, Staff Reviewer*

Layered Story

Small Girl Toni and the Quest of Gold was a cleverly layered fictionalized introduction to Toni Morrison. The story can be read at the surface level of an imaginative girl who sees the “gold” in her family and friends after a bad encounter and is an enjoyable book with a good message about community and family. I also like the illustration where Toni and her siblings look like they are going to have the best fun looking for gold and a young white child is peeking out from a tree looking curious. In a time when discrimination was rampant, I like the reversal in that imagery.
If you know it is loosely about Toni Morrison and the many references to her body of works then you can be inspired to read more about her or her books. This can leave an older reader curious to learn more. It is particularly impressive that so many references can be found in a picture book which is not the typical age group for it.
Overall, this story holds appeal for young and older readers. I like the thought and carefulness the author approached this story with to make it a satisfying read no matter your age. English teachers and fans of Toni Morrison will have an extra pitter-patter to their hearts when they read this book.

 

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