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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.