Self-esteem, acceptance, and emotions are usually the main themes of most books these days and picture books are no exception. The below titles take those familiar themes and magically combines them into two different tales.
I picked up Lili Macaroni as I wanted to take a photo of the cover and send to a friend of mine. I asked her if the girl looked familiar to her, too. And yes, we thought it looked like her youngest child. And yes, Lili of the story was a precocious as my friends youngest. Lili likes being Lili Macaroni. And when they start school, they are excited to share that with new friends. But of course, as it tends to go, the other students make fun of her, and she is not so sure she wants to be Lili Macaroni anymore. Of course, we the adult reader know things will work out. This book about self-esteem, acceptance and emotions is a delightful read written by Nicole Testa. And Annie Boulanger’s bold, fun, perfectly detailed illustrations add to the adventures that await us on the page. We know Lili, we might even be Lili, but this book is great for even “non-Lili’s.”
I picked up Danbi Leads the School Parade as I was wondering if it would work in the school display, we had on the sales floor. It works well in a school display as it is set in a classroom but could be set anyplace as well. Of course, the ending with the way Danbi connects to others, shows an example what to do in your classroom. This book about being yourself and dealing with the issues of being yourself are familiar, but with fresh characters. Danbi is excited to start school in America, but it turns out to be very difficult as she does not understand the teacher, and her classmates do not want her to join them in their games and dances. But when Danbi realizes how to be herself and still make friends, things all work out better than best. Anna Kim created a book with a sweet, delightful character with happy colors, good details, and the right amount of spunk to move things along.
In the end, both books are all ages, but they do lean towards the older audience. Solo reading might not be on the table, but either group or one-on-one reading works just as well.