McCully's newest addition to the I Like to Read series is a fresh take on a common school experience: a first crush.
The new kid, Bunny, is introduced to the class, and Pete, a pig, is smitten. His classmates notice and tease him. The surprisingly passive Ms. Pooch shushes the class but doesn't correct their behavior. Pete is sure Bunny won't like him after being embarrassed. Of course, Mom has a solution. Pete and Bunny don't mind the teasing when they realize that it is true: Pete does like Bunny, and the feeling is mutual. The problem is somewhat quickly resolved, but thankfully, McCully resists the temptation to spell out the moral lesson. The situation is clearly described in short three- to six-word sentences. This I Like to Read title uses a few sight words, such as the days of the week, in addition to words that are pretty easy to sound out. All the cartoon animals are dressed in human clothing, and McCully refers to them as “kids.” There is a multiplicity of species represented, reflecting the diversity that is becoming the norm in American classrooms.
This solid beginning reader in picture-book format offers a sympathetic take on a seldom-discussed situation. (Picture book/early reader. 5-8)