Skeletown: Sí. ¡No!

Little, Brown. (Skeletown: Bk. 1). Aug. 2023. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316464932. BL.
PreS-Gr 3–An illustrated story that can be read in either English or Spanish, this picture book creates an interactive experience. Two words appear on the pages: “Sí” and “¡No!” Readers have to discover why the illustrations merit a “Sí” or deserve a “¡No!” in each of the scenarios presented. The title page offers a clue to what the remaining pages will present: A skeleton boy rides his bike to the store and parks it in front of the door. He says, “Sí,” while a skeleton girl says “¡No!” Readers follow the direction in which she points to see a small sign indicating “no bikes” affixed to the wall of the store. From there, the book illustrates various scenarios, including writing invitations to a party, how to treat decorations, how to select a gift, how to behave at a party, how to play safely with friends, how to treat nature, and how to take good care of one’s things. Montijo leaves room for children to respond to the problems presented with their own solutions. Illustrations are orange, black, and white, and repetition of images allows readers to play “I Spy” with the differences by identifying patterns and what does not fit. This book compares to those in the “Penelope Rex” series, in which a character has to learn right from wrong. Here, Montijo’s message of how to treat nature and others with kindness and courtesy is presented with subtlety and an eye-catching, limited palette.
VERDICT An interactive read-aloud story that helps teach children how to build healthy friendships and other life lessons.

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