Thursday, December 12, 2013

danyelle recommends Me Too by Valeri Gorbachev

Some of life's best moments are simple ones, yet they can also be elusive because emotional richness and simplicity can be difficult to capture simultaneously.  That is why I particularly admire a book for emerging readers, like Me Too! by Valeri Gorbachev, that captures an everyday moment and imbues it with depth, and does it in a way that is easy to read.

This story begins on the title page with an eager Bear and Chipmunk watching the snow fall outside their window and welcoming readers into their world.  Then with a page turn, readers are drawn inside the warmth of their home.
 "I love snow!" said Bear.
"Me too!" said Chipmunk.
This first page sets up the rest of the story with Bear talking about their activities and Chipmunk echoing, "Me too!" each time.  The picture of snow shovels (I love the tiny one!), ice skates, and skis lined up on the wall also gives readers a preview of what is coming next.

The two friends dig a path out of their house, make a snowman, ice skate, ski, and return to their cozy home to sit by the fire. Young readers will laugh as Chipmunk flies through the air behind Bear's snow shovel, when he skis down a hill and lands head first in the snow, and when he and Bear fall on their backs while skating.  And they'll understand the warmth that exists between the two friends.

After a day in the snow, Bear and Chipmunk tuck into their warm beds, and this time Chipmunk's echo changes.
"Sweet dreams," said Bear.
"You too!" said Chipmunk.
The moon in attic windows draws the reader's eyes across the page, and with the final page turn, the reader is once again outside looking at the glowing lights through the window.

Unlike traditional easy-to-read books, this book is the shape and size of a picture book which makes it perfect for the earliest reader and an adult to share together.  The repetitive text  uses only 39 unique words (most of which are sight words).  Expressive, watercolor illustrations tell the story, and children will probably "read" the story through the pictures more than words.  There is nothing complicated here, just a satisfying story simply told.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for consideration as a Cybils Finalist.

The opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of other Cybils panelists.

Me Too!
An I Like to Read Book
by Valeri Gorbachev
published by Holiday House
July 2013
Recommended for ages 4-7

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