Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``Grace was a girl who loved stories.'' Empowered by the strength of her imagination and the love of her mother and Nana, this dramatic, creative girl constantly adopts roles and identities: Joan of Arc, Anansi the Spider, Hiawatha, Mowgli, Aladdin. When her class plans a presentation of Peter Pan , ``Grace knew who she wanted to be.'' She holds fast despite her classmates' demurrals; Nana, meanwhile, reminds her granddaughter that she can do anything she imagines. When Nana takes Grace to see a famous black ballerina--``from back home in Trinidad''--the determined youngster is aroused by the performance, and wins the role of her dreams. Featuring colloquial dialogue and endearing characters, Hoffman's ( My Grandma Has Black Hair ) tale is truly inspiring. First-timer Birch contributes evocative, carefully detailed watercolor paintings, which add their own share of emotional power and personal passion. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Grace dreams of being Peter Pan in the school play. She refuses to let the fact that she is a girl, and also of African American descent, stand in her way. It is a warm wonderful story of girl who reaches beyond stereotyping to achieve her dream.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Grace loves stories and acting. From Joan of Arc to Hiawatha, she has played them all, at least in her own backyard. When she learns that "Peter Pan" will be her class's next production, she sees herself flying. Her peers don't think she's right for the part. "Peter is a boy." "Peter isn't black." Grace is affected by these comments, but she is not deterred. With her supportive family there is no doubt the Grace can do anything she desires. Ms. Binch's talent for portraiture places this book in a class by itself.
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
In this story, Grace snags the leading role of Peter Pan and plays it to perfection, despite classmates' warnings that girls and blacks shouldn't try to act that part.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-- Grace loves stories, whether she hears them, reads them, or makes them up. Possessed with a marvelous imagination as well as a strong flair for the dramatic, she acts the stories out, always giving herself the most exciting parts. Thus, it is natural when her teacher announces a classroom production of Peter Pan , that Grace wants to play the lead. One classmate says she can't because she's a girl and another says she can't because she's black. When a saddened Grace relates the days events to her mother and grandmother, they tell her she can be anything she wants to, if she puts her mind to it. Inspired by her family's support, her own indomitable spirit, and an excursion to a weekend ballet starring a lovely Trinidadian dancer, Grace shines during her audition, leaving no doubt in anyone's mind as to who will play Peter Pan. Gorgeous watercolor illustrations portraying a determined, talented child and her warm family enhance an excellent text and positive message of self-affirmation. Grace is an amazing girl and this is an amazing book. --Anna DeWind, Milwaukee Public Library