April & Mae and the Tea Party: The Sunday Book

ISBN 9781580898867.
K-Gr 3–April and Mae are best friends who have a different activity scheduled every day of the week. Each story in the series starts out similarly, with a reminder that while April and Mae (as well as April’s dog and Mae’s cat) are best pals, they also have their differences. April is bold where Mae is shy. Mae is tidy when April is not. In the adventures that follow, readers will celebrate those differences as April and Mae help each other when things don’t go to plan. When the two lose their soccer game because of a muddy field, April laughs about it and pulls Mae out of her funk. When April has stage fright performing at the talent show, Mae (with some assistance from the misbehaving pets) gets her back on track. The colorful illustrations are appealing, and readers will appreciate the threads connecting each entry of the series, such as the constant companionship of the animals and Mae’s love of baking. While the series supports the literacy development of emerging readers, it also encourages social and emotional learning, specifically in the recognition of facial expressions and modeling appropriate emotional responses. Colored circles appear on some pages, each holding a close-up of a character’s face. When April is uncertain about performing at the talent show, her brows are furrowed. When Mae is laughing at April’s antics, she sports a wide grin, and her eyes are closed. When April reads a story aloud, Mae cries first from laughter and then from sadness, allowing readers to explore the difference.
VERDICT Following this celebration of friendship and feelings, early readers will want to know what April and Mae do next.

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