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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Pick Me Lil Peter Pick Me is part of an adventure book series by Peter Valdez and Tasche Laine featuring Lil Peter. This time, leadership is the core value that children will learn, as Lil Peter and his classmate Bryan are chosen by Miss Ivory to be the dodgeball captains for their P.E. class. Miss Ivory, however, asks Lil Peter for a favor. She wants Peter to first pick students who usually get picked last. This doesn't make sense for Peter, because the ones who get picked last are the players who aren't very good. But Miss Ivory has confidence in Lil Peter, and in the process of him doing this favor, a profound lesson will resonate. Some leaders tell people what to do. Good leaders teach people how to do it.
What makes this story so fascinating is that it is very grounded and optimistic in its depiction of children's concerns. There are no fantastic or magical elements here; just a straight, engaging story that embeds an important core value. Peter Valdez and Tasche Laine have created relevant reading fare for their target audience, and you can see the undertones of inclusion and diversity in the storybook's characters. Mei Mei Leonard's illustrations are focused, detailed, and vigorous, especially in presenting the action and thrill that go with playing dodgeball. This is how you tell a story that imparts an important life lesson. Pick Me Lil Peter Pick Me is entertaining in the way it handles its theme by giving a scenario that kids can identify with. This book is a fun read and a source of discussion for parents, teachers, and young students.