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"Introduce your child to the local library; libraries are places of discovery and learning for all ages."
Summary: Opal has a new student ... or should we say a shadow. Bubbles, her new classmate, loves everything about Opal. It seems she wants to BE Opal. Except when it comes to dancing, she can't. Will Opal help her? This story finds Opal learning about new feelings, like jealousy.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 8 to 10
Interest Level: 4 to 9
Reading Level: 3.4
Age of Child: Read with child 5 years old.
Young Reader Reaction: Our child got bored with this story. S/He didn't like it.
Adult Reader Reaction: We generally like Toots and Puddle, but this one left us scratching our heads. There were lessons to be offered, but they went undeveloped and too subtle to really draw them out for the target audience to understand.
Pros: Every child has experienced someone trying to be "just like me." This story helps them identify those feelings.
Cons: There is really no stated resolution to Bubbles' behavior. There were several perfect opportunities to have Opal and Bubble talk, but they were passed over. The story just ends.
Borrow or Buy: Skip it. There are better, more complete stories that will fill the bill if you're looking for stories about how relationships work.
Educational Themes: There are several themes to develop, though you will need to build on them without extensive context from the book: feelings of a new kid in class (from both sides); friendship; flattery (i.e., copycats); jealousy; conflict resolution; getting past personal feelings for the good of all.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book series, animal characters, friendship