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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
James really wants some chocolate milk. Why? Well, he needs it to grow big and strong, to fly to Jupiter, to find a missing treasure, to be the President of the United States. In fact, James needs chocolate milk so badly, he’s become a super-imaginative young person with a lot of creative ideas of why he needs chocolate milk. The only problem is: his creativity isn’t what’s needed. What he really needs is good manners. A please and a thank you might suffice.
Rachel Mattei’s picture book story, I Need Chocolate Milk!, is a charming, sweet way to teach young readers good manners. Following young James’ demands for chocolate milk – something he desperately needs right now – the author cleverly comes up with all kinds of ingenious and creative reasons why James needs his chocolate milk. I love the illustrations – bright and colorful and they fully express the power of the imagination with each new idea James presents. The story is simple and easy to read, which is good for young readers learning to read. Its ingenuity will have young readers chuckling at all of James’ reasons for wanting his chocolate milk. The punch line, the climax, might come as an unexpected revelation, but its impact is profound. “What’s a boy gotta do to get some chocolate milk around here? Oh, wait! I know what I need to do…” Insert good manners and James is rewarded with his much-desired chocolate milk. And, finally, for the resolution, a few thank you's will definitely come in handy. Just in case there’s a second glass available.