Diggs, Taye and Shane W. Evans. Chocolate Me.
Johnny, Timmy and Mark make fun of young Taye because he does not look like them, nor does he have a similar name. His hair is curly, his skin is dark, and his nose is wide. These comments make Taye doubt his own worth, but his supportive mother points out to him that he has many fine qualities, and is the same color as chocolate. She makes him cupcakes to share with his friends, who also agree that chocolate can be a good thing.
My favorite part of this book was the t shirts that Taye is wearing, all of which bear supportive messages like "Number 1 Son" and "Be Super". The pictures are colorful and appealing.
Pinkwater, Daniel. Mrs. Noodlekugel.
ARC from Netgalley.com
Nick and Maxine move into a tall apartment building and accidentally get a glimpse of a small house with a garden in the center of their block. They are told not to go there, but once they find that they can get to the area through the boiler room of their building, they go and meet Mrs. Noodlekugel, her talking cat, and her four nearsighted mice. It turns out that she will be their babysitter, but their parents told them not to visit her so that they would be more intrigued and get to meet her. (Is this a good lesson? Hmmm.) They bake some magical cookies with her, and get to find out a little about her world.
Strengths: The pictures are adorable, even in rough draft, and the premise is an intriguing ones.
Weaknesses: I was expecting something like Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and while the set up is there, the follow through is not. In fact, when I got to the end of the book, I strongly suspected that half the pages were missing. Maybe this will be a series, so the book ended abruptly to entice children to pick up the next one, but I did have the distinct feeling that this was unfinished.