May I

Children - Concept
26 Pages
Reviewed on 11/04/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Differences are not just the color of one’s skin, the person’s size, hair color, or ability to excel at school. Differences can be how a person really is deep down. If you’re happy and caring, it shows. On the opposite side of the spectrum is you’re always angry and mean, it shows, too. Two little girls, the same age, same looks (skin color, size, hair color, color and style of clothes, etc.) were so different you would think they came from different planets. CC was always happy, smiling, and helping others; Dot was always sad and grumpy. She never said a nice word to anyone and when she came over to play at CC’s house, she would hog CC’s dolls and demand a cookie from CC’s mother. CC corrected Dot on more than one occasion, telling her it was nicer to say “May I” than to demand something as Dot did. Dot didn’t understand, but she wanted to be like CC, so she went along with the game CC brought out and learned how she could be nicer, happier, and a “May I” girl like CC. The result erased the differences in the girls' expressions as both became happy girls.

Cheri Anthony’s picture book story, May I, is a sweet, charming tale to encourage young readers to be happy and nice because it really does show on their faces and in all that they do. The story is told in simple language so a young reader can follow along and improve their reading skills. The illustrations are excellent in filling in the gaps from the story and help the plot move along. The author incorporates modern technology to make the story current, including a smart board game instead of the old-school board game. The author provides ample descriptions of the two characters’ differences and how CC, the happy girl, ultimately influences Dot, the grumpy girl, in a positive way. The author sums up the story by giving the young reader the challenge to work on their “May I” skills.

Deborah Lloyd

“There are so many different people in this world who have different personalities, but everyone appreciates kindness in others.” CC’s mother wrote this message to Dot, CC’s friend, after the girls played a special game. The girls were different in how they wore their hair and in their clothing choices. CC was pleasant and nice to everyone she met. Dot, however, only smiled occasionally; she usually had a frown and a mean face. When CC got out her Magic Babies to play with Dot, Dot took the dolls away from her. She also snatched CC’s cookie. CC showed Dot the “May I” smart board game which teaches children to ask, “May I.” Dot told CC she wanted to be a good friend and be nice like her. In the children’s book, May I, author Cheri Anthony imparts a valuable lesson on the importance of being kind to other people.

This is a wonderful book for parents to read out loud to children, many times over. There are many points a parent can discuss. For example, how revealing facial expressions are; the importance of sharing toys and treats; respect for all people; how kindness toward people changes lives. Additionally, the delightful illustrations by Elenei Rae Pulido will stimulate a child’s imagination. The last page includes a declaration with a religious connotation added by the author. Author Cheri Anthony has written an engaging children’s book teaching kindness in May I.