________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 38 . . . . June 5, 2015


Me, Too!

Annika Dunklee. Illustrated by Lori Joy Smith.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2015.
32 pp., hardcover, $18.95.
ISBN 978-1-77138-104-8.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Chasity Findlay.

***½ /4



Every day when Annie arrives at school, Lillemor greets her with a big hug.

But one day when Annie arrives at school, there is no Lillemor. And no big hug.

Where could she be?

Annie looks high and low in the schoolyard for Lillemor. And, sure enough, there she is... playing with somebody else?!

Lillemor and another girl are jumping rope. They are having fun. AND they are laughing!

Annie doesn't like the look of this at all.

Annika Dunklee's Me, Too! introduces readers to best friends Annie and Lillemor. These two girls are great pals for a variety of reasons: they are the same age, they like the same colours, they like doing the same things, and they can speak another language (Annie's language, Oinky Boinky, is made up, but it still counts). One day, when Annie gets to school, she discovers Lillemor playing with a new girl, Lilianne, who has arrived from France. Annie is not one bit pleased to learn that Lillemor and Lilianne have a lot in common. Readers, along with Annie, are left wondering if the friendship will have what it takes to survive with a third person in the mix.

      Me, Too! conveys a message that I believe is particularly important for children in the target age range to learn, and it does so in a light-hearted, fun way. Through following the development of the friendships between Annie, Lillemor, and Lilianne, readers will discover that it is okay to have more than one best friend and to be welcoming to new people they meet.

      Dunklee has creatively used the written text to engage readers in this picture book. The playful fonts used throughout are paired well with the illustrations and the cheerful feel of the text. Dunklee effectively used a combination of narration, dialogue, and translations of French, Swedish, and Oinky Boinky to tell this sweet story of friendship. Readers will enjoy learning several phrases in new languages as they follow the girls' friendships.

      Lori Joy Smith's artwork, rendered in pencil and coloured in Photoshop, is perfectly paired with the light-hearted feel of the text. The whimsical, colourful illustrations have soft, rounded edges which will draw readers into the story. A colourful palette of soft blues, greens, pinks and purples is mainly used throughout and complements the cheery mood conveyed by the written text.

      Me, Too! will help readers learn an important message about friendship. With some discussion with the adults in their lives, young readers will likely begin to think about their own friendships and to be open in the future to befriending new people and stepping out of their comfort zone. I think this book would be a welcomed addition to any classroom or home library.

Highly Recommended.

Chasity Findlay is a high school English teacher in Winnipeg, MB, and a graduate student at the University of Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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