Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Review: Me, Too! by Annika Dunklee


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
There are many reasons why Annie is best friends with Lillemor, who is from Sweden. "They're the same age ? They like the same colors ? They like doing the same things ? They can both speak another language. Okay, so Annie made hers up, but she is pretty sure it still counts." Annie and Lillemor like each other so much they play together every day. But then Lilianne, a new girl from France, arrives. Annie can't stand that Lillemor has become friends with Lilianne, and that Lilianne seems to have more things in common with Lillemor than Annie does -- even their names, which both begin with "Lil"! Has Annie lost her best friend forever? This funny, honest picture book by Annika Dunklee perfectly captures the rhythms of youngsters' friendships and emotions, while also reminding them that there's always room for new people in their lives. The playful artwork by Lori Joy Smith uses dialogue bubbles to enrich the text, which offer an opportunity for acting out the story in the classroom while it's being read. A special touch here is the use of two other languages, Swedish and French (with translations), to expand young children's understanding of who they can be friends with, making this a terrific book for introducing foreign languages and cultures. This charming, engaging story can also serve as a springboard for discussions on friendship and feelings, character education lessons on inclusiveness, and social studies classes on multiculturalism.
MY TAKE:
I liked this book's portrayal of friendship a lot.

In Me, Too!, Lillemor and Annie have been best friends for a while because they have so much in common. One day, Annie sees Lillemor playing with Lilianne and she gets jealous because she thinks she'll lose her best friend.

This book does a good job of showing that it's possible for three people to be best friends. Annie was so worried that Lillemor and Lilianne had so much in common that at first she didn't realize that she and Annie had lots in common too. I think plenty of kids will be able to relate to this story, and I hope they can learn something from Lillemor, Annie and Lilianne's family.

Another cool thing about this book was how Lillemor and Lilianne's cultures were incorporated into the story. It can help encourage kids to share their culture and learn more about other kid's cultures.

I liked the illustrations of this book. The facial expressions of the girls were very funny and spot-on. The use of speech bubbles helped with the flow of the story and connected it with the text of the story.

The illustrations were done first in pencil before it was colored using Photoshop. The colors and shading are pretty good, though, and looks almost watercolor-like even though the colors used are bright.

Thanks to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:
  1. It shows kids that three isn't necessarily a crowd.
  2. It can help kids appreciate other people's cultures.
  3. The illustrations are perfect for the story. 

THE BAD:

  1. The story and the illustrations used feel geared more towards girls than for both boys and girls.   

READ IT IF:

  1. Your child is having friendship problems.
  2. Your child likes learning about other cultures.
  3. Your child likes comic books and picture books. 

RATING:
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