Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Missy's super duper royal deluxe picture day by Susan Nees

Scholastic has debuted a new series of beginning chapter books called "Branches". They're intended to be a bridge between easy readers and beginning chapter books. They're illustrated, small format chapter books under 100 pages.

Missy loves unique outfits, but her mom doesn't always agree with her sense of style. When her mom takes away her carefully selected picture-day outfit and replaces it with the most boring outfit ever, Missy goes to school in an awful mood. However, a new friend and some clever last-minute thinking save the day and she gets to be a little fancy after all.

This is the easiest of the new series titles in this collection. It's only 72 pages long and heavily illustrated in full color. It's more of a graphic blend chapter book, with panels, speech bubbles, and only short paragraphs of separate text. The illustrations are very colorful (those that were finished in my galley) and there's lots of cuteness. The hardest thing with this book is figuring out exactly where it would go. It's a little long for an easy reader, too short for a chapter book and not quite a graphic novel. I'd probably put it in easy readers, which is where I put my Toon books.

Verdict: This is a cute idea, but there are already so many picture books/chapter books out there about girls who like glitter and pizzaz it's hard to see what this book adds. It also vibes rather young, say kindergarten level, but not many kindergarteners can read at this level. Unless you have a section that's just beginning chapter books, I'd recommend buying extra copies of Fancy Nancy and skipping this one.

ISBN: 9780545496094; Published May 2013 by Scholastic; ARC provided by the publisher at ALA Midwinter 2013

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