- More Than Fluff by Madeline Valentine
Library ed. ISBN 9780593179062 $20.99
Trade ed. ISBN 9780593179055 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 9780593179079 $10.99
Reviewed from digital galleys R 4–7 yrs
Daisy the chick is so fluffy and cute that the other animals can’t help but hug, [End Page 318] squeeze, and cuddle her—to Daisy’s dismay (“I’m not just fluff . . . I have substance!”). When Daisy rolls in the mud to make herself unappealing to the hugging masses, the rain washes it away and leaves her at square one. Daisy’s mother helpfully suggests that Daisy assert her boundaries, and the chick goes on to put her foot down: “I don’t want a hug. But thanks for offering.” This readaloud, in the guise of a pun-ridden chick story, provides a realistic parallel for kids whose cheeks get squeezed at every family gathering. The dialogue Daisy utilizes to fend off those who crowd her space is easily transferable to real life. Digital charcoal and watercolor effects give the animals a soft-edged cutesy look that mirrors their unmalicious intentions, and yellows pop from the page against predominantly negative space. Adults wanting to introduce younger audiences to concepts of consent and boundaries will find this a useful place to start.