Big Kids No Everything

S. & S./Little Simon. Apr. 2023. 36p. Board $8.99. ISBN 9781665932417.
PreS-K–Anyone who has ever interacted with a child knows just how prevalent the word “no” can be. Whether the “no” itself is loud, soft, or somewhere in between, learning to express oneself in this way is an important step in the journey to the independence that comes from being a “big kid.” This delightful picture book is as much for caregivers as it is for children, since the primary message of the story is that while a child’s refusal can lead to times of frustration, learning to say “no” is critical to that child’s healthy development. Limited in both words and images, the book itself permits readers to focus on its message through its intentionally pointed delivery. Clever use of page design directs the reader’s attention to specific moments, and laughter is a frequent result of the book’s images. This presentation invites readers to discuss with one another exactly why a child would say “no” in the manner depicted, and what feelings they might be experiencing in those situations. A range of skin colors appear on the faces of the children, which expands the potential audience for this story.
VERDICT This lovely story is a charming investigation of the social-emotional elements that arise as young children are growing into their independence; a recommended book for families to enjoy together.

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