Review: Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match / Marisol McDonald no combina
Title: Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match / Marisol McDonald no combina
Author: Monica Brown
Illustrator: Sara Palacios
Publisher: Children's Book Press (bilingual edition)
Hardcover: 32 pages
Ages: 4 - 8
According to other people, Marisol McDonald doesn’t match. She has red hair and brown-nut skin. She wears a polka dots shirt with a striped pant. She eats peanut butter and jelly burritos. She speaks Spanish, English, and Spanglish. She would like to mix playing soccer with pirates. Her art projects are extraordinary.
Her friend Ollie dares her to match. Marisol decides she can match if she wants to. She starts wearing clothes of the same color. She plays pirates with Ollie, but not soccer. She has a normal peanut butter sandwich for lunch. Her artwork becomes dull.
Ms. Apple notices that Marisol is not feeling well about trying to match and writes her an uplifting note at end of the school day. Marisol recognizes that being herself is what makes her truly happy. She doesn’t have to match because she doesn’t want to.
This is a must-read wonderful story about a biracial girl not conforming to stereotypes and what others expect. Marisol has her own personality, style, and way of doing things. Others have a hard time understanding her because people usually have a hard time comprehending what is different.
It's no joke. Historians and sociologists know this as the concept of the other. It's difficult for individuals and groups of people to understand those who are different from them. That's why we tend to put people into boxes or stereotypes. When we do that, we are trying to organize the world.
Marisol reminds us that we don’t have to comfort to these boxes and stereotypes. We need to be ourselves to be happy. We need to break barriers of what's supposed to be.
This story is great for encouraging children to be themselves and embrace their uniqueness. Another advantage is that it's a bilingual story. The text is in English and Spanish. Sara Palacios' amazing and colorful illustrations match Marisol's vibrant personality. Without a doubt, we need more books like Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match / Marisol McDonald no combina.
About the author: Monica Brown
Monica Brown is an award-wining children's book author of Peruvian American heritage. She has written many acclaimed bilingual children's books.
At the end of the book, Monica Brown included a note about why she wrote Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match / Marisol McDonald no combina. She explains that she and her family are multiracial "like over 6 million Americans." People often asked them what they were and said that they didn’t match. Her mother, however, taught her that they were Americans and citizens of the world. Brown points out that her life "is bound up with the history of many people."
- 2012 ALSC Notable Book
- 2012 International Latino Book Award
- 2012-2013 Tejas Star Book Award
- Junior Library Guild Selection, Fall 2011
- Pura Belpré Honor, 2012
Rating: 5 stars
Other books by Monica Brown
1. Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People
2. Lola Levine is Not Mean
3. My Name is Celia / Me llamo Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz / La vida de Celia Cruz
4. My name is Gabito / Me llamo Gabitio: The Life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez