Shaped like an early chapter book rather than an easy reader, this effort, one of a new series called Branches, introduces super-duper Missy and her encounter with school picture day.
Missy, a very exuberant and headstrong young grade schooler, spends her whole week imagining all of the wild outfits she could wear to have her picture taken. The full-color, cartoony illustrations, some humorously depicting her numerous clothing changes and wild design concepts, fill most of the white space on each page and effectively portray Missy’s personality, as well as that of a bookish classmate, Oscar. She adores ruffles, striped tights and lots of over-the-top accessories, a fascination that many young female readers will recognize and enjoy. Missy’s mother forces her to wear a plain blouse and skirt with suspenders for her picture, though, and she fusses and fumes through her school day. Eventually, she and Oscar, who loves suspenders but is wearing a plaid vest and bow tie, hatch a scheme that resolves her woes. Most pages feature only a sentence or two but include some challenging sight words, considering how brief the text is: “gracious,” “chocolate” and “information” among them.
Not quite as easy a read as similarly formatted Boris on the Move, by Andrew Joyner (2013), this will nonetheless appeal to emergent female readers wishing to look especially accomplished to their peers—and who doesn’t enjoy that feeling? (Fiction. 5-7)