When you’re seven and you like pink and purple, jumping rope, and speaking another language, it’s easy to become fast friends with someone exactly like you. That’s how it was with Annie and her best friend, Lillemor. But when Annie finds Lillemor playing with someone else, she feels left out. In Me, Too! by author Annika Dunklee and illustrator Lori Joy Smith, kids will experience the joy of finding a friend, and the growth that comes from including others.
Smith’s pencil and Photoshop illustrations are sweet – the girls are drawn with large heads and small bodies, and they often mirror each other’s actions and gestures. Speech bubbles elaborate upon and extend the text, showing the ease of the girls’ conversations, and translations are included along the page edges where needed. Kids will practice their French when the new girl, Lilianne, speaks, and laugh out loud at Annie’s made-up language, Oinky Boinky. They’ll also learn a little bit of Swedish from Lillemor who, like the author, is from Sweden. As Annie interrogates Lilianne, Dunklee draws upon and repeats the pattern of similarities she established at the beginning of the story, and the girls’ final realization includes a clever play on names that will likely come as a surprise.
Multicultural, multilingual, and funny, Me, Too! will resonate with boys and girls who are learning to navigate their sense of self and their friendships with others.
By Annika Dunklee and illustrator Lori Joy Smith
$18.95, hardcover, 32 pp.
Kids Can Press, April 2015