Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm the Best!

Cousins, Lucy. 2010. I’M THE BEST. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick. ISBN 9780763646844 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-K]

In this charming picture book, a fluffy brown dog in splashy plaid pants dances around enthusiastically and finds ways to compete and win against each of his friends. He beats Mole for speed and Ladybug for size, just for starters, and each time he announces “I win. I’m the best.” However, clever Mole points out that actually Duck is the best swimmer, Donkey is the biggest, and Mole is the best digger. After a brief crisis of confidence, “I’m just a silly show-off,” Dog finds a talent that none of his friends can compete with-- having beautiful fluffy ears-- and once again knows that he is the best.

Cousins’ trademark illustrations with coloring outside-the-lines bring the child-like spirit of the story to life, with splashes and whirls of color conveying the movement and energy of the characters. Young readers will recognize the spirit of competition and readily identify with dog through his ups and downs of superiority and humility. This is a fun read-aloud about self-confidence and friendship.

Include this in a storytime about friendship and invite young readers to find something a friend is the best at. Use Cousins’ illustrations in an art lesson to demonstrate how color and lines can be used to tell a story.

Other picture books that explore the highs and lows of friendship:
Bloom, Suzanne. A SPLENDID FRIEND INDEED. ISBN 9781590782866
Raschka, Christopher. YO! YES? ISBN 9780531054697
Willems, Mo. CAT THE CAT, WHO IS THAT? ISBN 9780061728402

By Cecily Ponce de Leon

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