|Atheneum Books, 2018|
My recent posts featured picture books for EVERY age, books with advice on dealing with bullies, and making active efforts to be kind. If I had been aware of this recent release it would have been included in one or the other, but it just flew onto my radar screen a few days ago.
That may well be for the best, since SUPER MANNY STANDS UP, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin provides a perfect introduction to summer vacation! It goes without saying that this talented author's work deserves attention, blending word-perfect readability with humor, surprise, and heart.
The premise is perfect for summer, even though it is a school-ish story. Populated by appealing animal characters, Super Manny Raccoon is introduced in a styling display of his many super-power capes, ones that allow him to be fearless, strong, brave, powerful, and invincible against every imagined foe! That could leave Manny feeling vulnerable when he goes to school without a cape, but (and here's the surprise!) he has a SCHOOL cape, an INVISIBLE one! That super undercover cape lets him continue his imaginative fun at school. But one day, the enemy who appears is REAL! When Manny and all all the others in the lunchroom witness BIG bullying small, Manny remembers that he carries his power with him. And it IS a magical power, because when he speaks up in defense of small, other bystanders STAND UP with him and BIG doesn't feel so big anymore.
This book is a perfect launch to summer at playgrounds, library reading circles, and at home. Outdoor play, imaginative play, interactive play were once the default setting for the kids everywhere. Whether the kids in your life are programmed throughout every day of summer or experiencing free-roam bliss, wearing an invisible undercover cape may be just the boost needed to STAND UP to bullies, for themselves and on behalf of others.
While you're at it, check out the downloadable checklist of suggestions of kind things to do, organized and heartfelt ideas from the blog, Doing Good Together.
There's an advanced list for overachievers, too.
It's not hard to find recommended lists of books about kindness, but if you're getting into this theme, check out this post at READ BRIGHTLY, here. This blog does a great job of sorting recommendations by target age, themes, and also archives many topics and themes. It's a great place to start for anyone wondering aloud, "What can I read?"