I Feel Happy by Salina Yoon
Explore emotions in this board book. The book comes with one puzzle piece that has a rotating wheel. The piece is the face of the child and children can rotate the mouth so that the face shows different reactions. Turn pages in the book, and different situations are explained. The child can then show the emotion that they would feel in that situation. The puzzle piece is attached to the book with yellow ribbon. It’s a novelty book that would work well in public libraries thanks to the durability of the piece and the pages.
It’s a Little Book by Lane Smith
A version of It’s a Book that is perfect for the toddler set. Here you have the donkey and gorilla in diapers, exploring what a book is. Is it for chewing? Is it for wearing? Is it for flying? Each time the donkey comes up with an idea, the gorilla gives it a “no.” Until the end, “It’s a book, silly.” None of the controversy of the first book but all of the charm. And yes, it did take a lot of effort to call the character “donkey” here.
The One and Only Stuey Lewis by Jane Schoenberg, illustrated by Cambria Evans
This series of stories are about Stuey’s time in second grade. Stuey is not a confident kid, often choosing to just not even try before has a chance to fail. When he starts second grade, Stuey pretends to be sick because he can’t read as well as he thinks he should be able to. But Stuey is also creative. When his mother tells him he can only trick-or-treat on their block, he comes up with a cunning plan to get plenty of candy. But things do go wrong, like when he doesn’t get put on the same soccer team as his best friend and instead is put on a team with a girl in his class who drives him crazy. But in the end, it all works out and second grade becomes something that Stuey never wants to end. After all, who knows what will happen in third grade?!
Schoenberg has written this book at just the right level for young readers. She has infused the story with humor, making the book very appealing to children. It also helps that the chapters read almost as separate stories about Stuey, so it can be tackled one chapter at a time. She also clearly sets the premise for each chapter, creating tension and driving new readers to figure out how the story ends.
Stuey is a very likeable character, filled with doubts and concerns just like any real kid. He is also inventive, which gets him both in and out of scrapes. Stuey shows steady growth through the stories and readers will not be surprised to find that he loves second grade by the end, even though the short book started with him dreading it.
Evans’ illustrations are fun-filled and friendly. The black-and-white images do a lot to break up the text into more readable pieces.
A great pick for readers who are leaving the beginning readers and ready to tackle chapter books. Appropriate for ages 5-7.
Reviewed from copy received from Farrar Straus Giroux.
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