How to Host a Sleepover

Random. (Step into Reading). Oct. 2022. 32p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780593479216; pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780593479209.
PreS-Gr 1–This short transitional book truly does instruct readers on how to host a sleepover. An unnamed Black girl has invited her friend Mia over to spend the night. They have fun trying a variety of activities, like dancing, magic, and making pizza. When it’s finally time for bed, Mia gets nervous and calls her dad to pick her up. Thankfully, she changes her mind and makes it through the night. When the girls wake up, they’re rewarded with pancakes for breakfast. This story, while instructional, lacks spark. Many of the sentences are very short, like “We draw.” and “Mom reads a story.” This is helpful for learning to read, but doesn’t do much to excite readers. The story ends a bit abruptly as the children eat pancakes and then exclaim how excited they are for the next sleepover, which will also feature pancakes. There is a rather large emphasis on pancakes in this title, with the word being mentioned five times. Art features diverse characters and leans into the illustrator’s apparent appreciation for colored pencils. It showcases Wildish’s consistent style of fun and appealing child-friendly art.
VERDICT With so many quirks, this book may help children learn to read, but it won’t excite or dazzle. Best as a secondary purchase.

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