Both stories of this review are books that are about being different and acceptance. The execution and the endings are different, but their results are the same: both characters who are different are accepted, one by his peers and the other of himself.
The Boy in the Orange Cape had intrigued me because I am thinking: Why is he wearing the cape? I looked at the cover, read the description and when the opportunity can to get a copy, I jumped on it. I will say, don’t judge this book by its cover. It seems like it might I thought maybe the boy was autistic and the cape helped him. Or maybe (and this was reinforced a few pages in) he is physically different, so his cape shows the difference is super/he is special. But none of these are right. Adam Ciccio created a cute story about being yourself because it shows someone how you love them. Our boy is bullied and teased by his classmates, but when they learn the why of the cape wearing (despite the bully always taking it) you see how brave our rabbit is. The book has a classic feeling but with modern sentiments. Adorable illustrations by Emmanuel Volant tie it all together and are my favorite part of the book. The colors pop, but are not overwhelming and they detail is simple, but important.
Extraordinary Albert by Bonnie Grubman continues the story of being different and acceptance. This is a story about being different (Albert has very large feet) and then finding that special something that only you can do because of it. Of course, it takes a little while for him to appreciate this unique feature (he is clumsy and different looking), but you know in the end it all works out. There was a small bump for me (there is a character that seemed to be mentioned out of the blue with little to no explanation who they were until later, then it was still not completely explained). However, the illustrations by S. K. Y. van der Wel are adorable. They are not too busy, but there is plenty of detail, and the color is rich, bold, and not overly bright, but not faded either. They fit the tone of the book and like with the other title, my favorite part of the book.
I was unsure if I would like these books, they seemed “done before” and possibly could be clichéd. And while their stories are not “earth shattering” I think they fit today’s atmosphere and will fill a space that in he “different and acceptance” category: a more simplistic, classic being different/acceptance and still appeal to today’s audiences.