Reviews for Not perfect

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A young girl strives for perfection. Dot’s good at many things but isn’t perfect at them. She believes her siblings and parents are perfect in various ways; even her cat’s a perfect mouser. While her grandparents and soccer coach encourage her efforts, it’s not good enough for her. She compares herself to her best friend, Sam, who “does everything right.” One day their teacher asks each student to create a poster of someone they admire. Dot chooses her subject immediately and, naturally, wants her creation to be perfect; repeated imperfect attempts frustrate her so much that she tears her artwork up. After berating herself, Dot starts over. Next day, Sam reveals his poster of her—it’s not perfect—and announces that he admires Dot’s persistence. Dot then displays her portrait of Sam, made up of all those torn-up pieces. Surprise! She deems their efforts perfect. The conclusion to this story, a companion to Not Little (2021), seems abrupt and, well, imperfect. Overall, though, the protagonists are endearing and convey a reassuring message: It's OK to fail; trying is what counts. The colored-pencil illustrations are charming. Dot has light-tan skin and a brown poufy topknot. Her family is multiracial—her mother is light-skinned, her father is brown-skinned, and her siblings vary in skin tone. Sam presents Asian. Kids struggling with perfectionism will learn a valuable lesson. (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.