Something Beautiful

S. & S./Atheneum. Jun. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534485136.
PreS-Gr 1–This is a whimsical picture book with illustrations reminiscent of the artwork in Sam McBratney’s beloved Guess How Much I Love You? about an unlikely group of friends who find beauty in their union and in their individuality. Mouse plays alone with Ball, until Elephant comes along; before you know it, Giraffe, Porcupine, and Lion join the mix. The bright illustrations match the optimistic tone of the narrative as it offers children a valuable moral; there is comfort to be found in being your unique self while sharing who you are with those around you who may be similar or different. The book is paced well and young readers will enjoy the repetition as each new friend is added to the group. Simple language and short pages make this an ideal read aloud for preschool and early elementary children. While centering a group of animal friends makes this a cute story, the unrealistic make up of the group—a confusing amalgam of predator and prey—may make the moral difficult for children to process.
VERDICT With the right discussion to provide more concrete messaging, young children will take to this lesson that each one alone has value, but each also adds something beautiful to the group.

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