Parker Dresses Up: Ready-to-Read Level 1

Simon Spotlight/S. & S./. (Parker ­Curry). Jan. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781665902564; pap. $4.99. ISBN 9781665902557.
K-Gr 2–It’s a rainy day, so Parker decides to play dress-up with her younger sister and brother. The siblings gleefully try on costumes and imagine themselves in various careers until an argument arises. Brother Cash, dressed as a chef, wants to play with sister Ava’s fire hose. The siblings’ mother helps them see that everyone can be more than one thing, and the children then have fun making unique combinations of costumes and accessories. The digitally created illustrations represent this Black family with realistic expressions and varying skin tones. They also provide clues about the family’s lifestyle, showing the mother as a successful work-from-home parent, with a glimpse of the father sharing leisure time with the family. This is an accessible early reader text with a positive message about not placing each other into arbitrary boxes. The children are encouraged to dress up as whatever they would dream to be, even something fantastical like a “mermaid teacher,” while the mother shares that she is both a mom and a writer.
VERDICT An exploration of creativity and healthy communication that will be a valuable addition to early reader collections.

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