The Sparkly Bun

A children's book about feelings, courage and confidence, friendship, self-esteem, individuality and creativity.

Children - Social Issues
30 Pages
Reviewed on 05/17/2023
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Author Biography

Keith Stoeckeler lives with his wife and two children in Connecticut. He experienced a moment of inspiration while reading a bedtime story to his daughter years ago, which led him to believe he could create a children's book. The idea of incorporating his love for cheeseburgers lingered in his mind for some time, and he was motivated to pursue the creation and completion of the book to provide a lasting gift for his children.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Keith Stoeckeler’s picture book, The Sparkly Bun, is a clever way to teach young readers not only about being creative and using their imagination but also about building their self-esteem and being comfortable with who they are. The story is told in simple language so young readers can follow along. There is lots of dialogue which helps move the story forward. The illustrations by Lana Lee are creative and add some zest to the plot development. The author takes a common theme amongst young girls, that of fashion, and makes it into a powerful statement of what’s important in life, and how being creative and imaginative can make one really stand out.

Do you like wearing the same outfit every day? Does it look like what others are wearing? Or are their outfits much cooler than yours? In The Sparkly Bun by Keith Stoeckeler, Emme has a difficult lesson to learn. She wants to wear her sparkly bun outfit every day because it makes her stand out. But then she sees her friends wearing other cool outfits and she wants to wear the same buns they’re wearing. When she asks her parents for new outfits, like her friends have, they point out that she really doesn’t need any more outfits. “It’s important to be yourself and not worry about what others are doing. … It’s what’s inside that counts, not what we wear.” So Emme gets creative with her wardrobe, making herself look and feel unique. “Being one-of-a-kind is important.”


How can you resist a sweet cover like this one? I couldn't.

Emme loved fashion and when she wears her favorite sparkly bun two days in a row, her friends tease her. And then, as she sees what some of them are wearing, she decides that she needs buns that look just like theirs.

But, Emme's mom and dad are smart and they talk with her about being herself, not just a part of the crowd.

I don't have daughters. Fashion wasn't a big deal for my boys when they were in school. But, having friends and fitting in and being accepted are important to children at all ages.

I adored the colorful illustrations; they're bright and fun. The premise that everyone wears buns as clothing was clever and the illustrations showed such a variety of buns. I liked the lessons learned; that being yourself is important. That who you are is important.

I really appreciated that Emme's parents talked with her and didn't just dismiss her thoughts. And when Emme comes up with a solution, it's perfect.

This is a darling book that would be a great addition to any child's library.


How VERY teachable, using burger clothes - something never heard of before.
Nobody was pointing fingers because burger clothes don't exist (yet). LOL!

I love that the child solved her perceived problem with creativity, rather than "Let's buy something new."
Frugality? Maybe. But creativity first.

The burger clothes DID make me wonder if their bodies are shaped this way or if it is just a current trend.

An overall fun read. In fact, I'm ready to read it again.


As a parent, I highly recommend "The Sparkly Bun" as a must-have addition to any child's library. It's a book that fosters imagination, instills important values, and leaves a lasting impact on young hearts and minds. Keith Stoeckeler has created a great story that your kids will enjoy reading over and over again.


5 stars is the only review to give a book that features a world in which people are dressed in hamburger buns, and delicately teaches the importance of individuality and marching to the best of your own drum.

With playful illustrations, this is the perfect story to teach kids important lessons about growing into being their own, creative self


Highly recommend this book - love the message of being yourself. My son (5.5 years old) loves it! Beautiful illustrations as well. We will be gifting this to many others!


Wonderful, meaningful story with great detailed illustrations that everyone should read with their kids. Grandparents too! A lesson for everyone to learn! Great job Keith and Lana!!


After the first reading our oldest, 3 asked to hear it again, she loved the burger outfits so much!


Emme and her family live in a world where people wear outfits that look like hamburgers. In the story they are referenced as buns and Emme has a bun with sparkles. When she wears it two days in a row without washing it her friends at school take notice and make fun of her.

At home, she shares with her parents that she likes looking like her friends to fit in. They explain that it’s alright to be different and what matters is what is inside a person. That night, Emme felt restless and decided to create her own unique look. What do you think she did?

This delightful story about being yourself is very unique. Colorful illustrations show buns of all kinds. The message shared with young readers is that it’s okay to be different and this story certainly is. Parents and teachers can use this as a guide to show kids how to have fun while being themselves.


I just loved this book. Being a parent of two young children, who sad to say, are already experiencing peer pressure and the need to "fit in," I found this book to be a true gem. The message is brilliant and one that needs to be addressed at every stage of life. It is a unique storyline with the "bun" which is so clever and easily translatable to other objects, clothes, tech etc.

Three reasons why you and your child will love this book:
1. Simply a wonderful message presented through a relatable theme about the pressure to be like everyone else. Great artwork and images as well.
2. A number of critical themes for both the child and parent reading the book. I read this to my daughter, age, 6, and then I let her read it on her own. I was able to have a real discussion about peer pressure, individuality, and being your own unique, beautiful self.
3. It can be applied to either boys or girls. The message is easily translatable to anyone you are talking to about any issue at hand.

I have read tons of books to my kids and haven't come across one as cute, teachable and memorable as this one. Nice work!.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.


My daughter loves this book! It's a great message to remind her that she doesn't need something just because her friends have it.


This book brought tears to my eyes thinking about all the wonderful messages it brings to kids, such as the importance of highlighting how one’s own individuality, self-expression, and uniqueness that often leads to a child’s empowerment and confidence. The book hits all the right notes, to me, for the development of all young ones!!!! Great job!!!!


As a Mom of three, G-Mom of two, and Principal of a private school, this book sings to my heart. Each and every child is a genuine gift to us all. Keith and Lana nurture individuality in 21st century dazzle through their story. From the fun attire the family and kids wear to the inventiveness of Emme, this tale will be a repeat favorite for any age young person. Unique gift book for all occasions. Bravo and 5-Stars!


Oh WOW! This book needs to be in every school, pre-school, daycare and home for adults to read to the children. The illustrations are fabulous, colorful and on point. But this message..... fabulous! Every child needs to learn and be taught that it is ok not to have what their friends have and to be their own person. Such a great book and message!


This is "the sparkly bun". It is a very silly little children's story that is sure to delight you little one. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.


Really great book that is easily readable for bedtime and fun with a great theme on confidence and being yourself.


I love this book-cute illustrations, concepts (different bun outfits) and the lessons of celebrating our uniqueness woven throughout. I can see kids wanting to read this again and again. Recommend!


This is a sweet story that encourages kids to think for themselves, complete with adorable illustrations of kids dressed in bun outfits. As a parent, I can relate to my children wanting to wear the same clothes as their friends. It is wonderful to have such a playful story to anchor conversations about being confident marching to your own beat.

Gina Bell

Two words. Burger outfits. The Sparkly Bun is on a roll with this fun and unique story! This book rises to the occasion with a message encouraging self-esteem, creativity, and inner knowing. This instant classic will likely be sandwiched onto library shelves near and far. It's just so much fun!


I thought that this was a lovely story and the illustrations were perfect for the book!

The book was well written and easy to follow and my five year old daughter loved it.

I loved the message of the book and the way that the story was written too

The book was a positive read that we both really enjoyed.

It is 5 stars from me for this one – very highly recommended!


This cute story features a clever girl who takes matters into her own hands. What will she do when she can't wear her favorite outfit? When a story includes kids solving problems, both my kids and I notice. My 6-year-old son liked how creative she was. My 9-year-old daughter liked her positive attitude and determination. I liked the hamburger outfits, they were all so adorable and innovative!