Thursday, May 14, 2020

#road2reading Challenge - It Is (Not) Perfect - 5.14.2020

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers 
at the start of their independent reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

These Thursday posts are important to me because I feel strongly that if you can get kids to fall in love with reading early, they will pick up books and they will read.  I also believe you can have a child fall in love with someone reading to them but hate reading.  The big key to loving to read is being able to pick up books and read them independently.  There is power in being able to read and power knowing you can read all by yourself.  However, so many books for those readers who are really just starting this journey are full of sight words, decodable text, and short sentences that don't make up much of a story.  So finding books that have sight words, decodable text AND a fun story AND great characters can be a challenge.  That's why I'm always glad when Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant have another book in their You Are (Not) Small series.

It Is (Not) Perfect
written by Anna Kang
illustrated by Christopher Weyant
published by Two Lions

Our favorite two friends are back and this time they are making the perfect sand castle!  But is it perfect?  Not according to everyone else on the beach.  Lots of suggestions come in - wider, taller, add windows and stairs and a drawbridge.  The friends stay very busy changing their perfect-not-perfect sandcastle until everyone is satisfied.  Until.... well, there's a little splashy surprise at the end!

The book is full of decodable words - taller, flags, shame - and sight words - should, what, these - but there will be some that are a bit trickier {almost all relate to building a more perfect sandcastle} - towers, arches, gatehouse, drawbridge.  But it has a great storyline and lovable characters.  Kids want a storyline to talk about, and there is so much with this one:

  • humor - what was the funny part of the story
  • social emotional pieces - how did the characters react when everyone kept telling them what to do?  When their hard work came apart?  What really is perfect?  Does everyone have to view perfect as the same?
It seems like in today's world - and maybe especially during this pandemic time - we talk about with young readers what the word perfect means.  And maybe talk about how sometimes our idea of perfect must change.  I know it's something I should do some reflecting upon!

Such a great title and the perfect thing is... this is part of a series!  So there are several more books for your reader to enjoy:
You Are (Not) Small - Geisel Award winner
That's (Not) Mine
I Am (Not) Scared
We Are (Not) Friends

Each book in the series brings up a kid-friendly topic and shows positive ways to encounter it.  Perfect for any library and a definite addition for your Social Emotional Learning library!

More about the author and illustrator team:

Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant are the creators of Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner You Are (Not) Small as well as series titles That’s (Not) Mine, I Am (Not) Scared, and We Are (Not) Friends. They also wrote and illustrated Eraser, Can I Tell You a Secret?, and Will You Help Me Fall Asleep? Christopher’s work can also be seen in The New Yorker, and his cartoons are syndicated worldwide. This husband-and-wife team lives in New Jersey with their two daughters and their rescue dog. Visit them at and
Twitter: @annakang27 @chrisweyant05
Facebook: Anna Kang - Author; Christopher Weyant

Thank you to Barbara at Blue Slip Media for the review copy.

And thank you to Two Lions who has generously donated a copy for giveaway to US readers!  The giveaway is open through May 21st.


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  2. I'm glad you shared about the giveaway today, Michele. The books sounds great, though NOT 'perfect'! Thanks!