My house, my rules. At one point or another may of us have either heard or said (or both) these infamous words. It’s not surprising. We all can have very particular ways of how we like our things arranged and/or treated. Do you remember, however, what it was like when you were a kid and you had to follow a set of rules you did not come up with?
When the Prince decides to have, you guessed it, a Bake-Off Ball (okay, really a Royal Baking Competition–I think bake-off ball would have been funnier!), Cinderelliot dreams of participating; but, alas, he cannot because his siblings want them to bake treats for their participation. And, somebody has to clean the kitchen!
The text in the book is simple, but drives home strongly several lessons: that everyone you meet faces their own struggles, that you’ll find friends in the most unlikely of places, that challenges met together are far more surmountable than if met alone, and that having a posse is just about one of the important things in life.
Catterill’s illustrations, an incredible collection of hand-molded/painted, photographed dioramas (that have to be seen to be fully believed), endow this book with life. The details are exceptional; bringing a warm, vibrant family into full realization.
Aria, who received a “helper-leg” after an accident, is excited about returning to school after an extended absence. The school, however, has no places for her to sit, making her participation incredibly difficult. After almost giving up, Aria becomes determined to take matters into her own hands and solve the problem: she would build a bench for herself to use!
Hana is a Muslim girl who loves her Hijabs. She accessorizes them and makes them extra fancy. She is proud of her hijabs. Her classmates even ask her for fashion advice because of her creativity and unique sense of style.
The words are few, but impactful, following a heart string, reminding us that we are all connected to one another across all time and distance across the globe.
De Dios’ illustrations are over the top, capture some incredible expressions are sure to invoke a giggle or two. As for the text, it’s your standard “If you’re happy and you know it” book, designed to get you out of your seat and moooooving! Read it to one, or better yet, to a classroom and prepare to have a great time!
Bahram Rahman tells the story of a woman and her daughter who travel around Afghanistan on a bus filled with books, not seats, to teach young girls English. They allow them to borrow books, and give them English lessons once per week. It is often not enough, but it is what they can do to make a difference in the lives of these girls.