YOU ARE A RACCOON! by Laurie Ann Thompson
ILLUSTRATOR: Jay Fleck
SERIES: Meet Your World
GENRE: Children’s Picture Book
PUBLISHER: Dial Books
RELEASE DATE: April 11, 2023
The second in an adorable, STEM nonfiction picture book series that encourages very young readers to learn—through gentle interactivity and play—about the animals who share their world
Crawl, cling climb! You may have seen a raccoon scurry up a tree or across the road just before dark. Did you know that raccoons stay up at night playing, hunting, and eating when you go to sleep? From birth to first stripes and beyond, discover all that goes into being a raccoon in this charming picture book, the second in the Meet Your World series.
This playful and informative series invites you to take a closer look at the amazing animals that live right alongside you in rural, suburban, and urban landscapes across North America. In each book, words and art inspire you to act out animal actions that are not so different from your own habits. And robust backmatter offers even more facts and fun. From the animals’ families and foods to their environments and behaviors, let’s meet your world!
Other Books In This Series
You Are a Raccoon! is everything adorable while also being highly educational. Because while children are crawling and sneaking and leaping, they’re having fun and learning, too!
Fleck’s lively (and so endearing) illustrations and Thompson’s interactive text help preschoolers follow the life of a raccoon from birth to adulthood, just as they did in You Are a Honey Bee!, and I loved the contrasting color tones between the two books. Warm and sunny for the honey bee versus the cool shades of night for the nocturnal raccoon. Even that simple detail can be used as a teaching point for parents/teachers who own both books, and it’s those little extras that set these books apart as must-haves for every home or school library.
As in the previous book, I loved the emphasis on active verbs that expand a child’s vocabulary, though I thought ‘bolt down berries’ was a bit too abstract of a concept for the target age group. The opportunities for interactive play are super fun for kids, and I can see it bringing shared laughter as well. I also once again appreciated the consideration of different learning styles, races, body types/abilities, and cultures. All of these details make You Are a Raccoon! not only a fun reading experience but also full of teachable moments.
Bottom Line: Laurie Ann Thompson and Jay Fleck have created another picture book that’s enjoyable for children and adults alike. The colorful and cute illustrations in You Are a Raccoon! combine with the engaging text to teach preschoolers about everything from a newborn raccoon’s first few days to a young raccoon’s diet, how they play, how they defend themselves and what they do during the winter. The back matter provides further opportunity for learning with more facts about raccoons and fun application activities that reinforce what was taught in the book. I look forward to more books in this series!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / loved it!
Laurie Ann Thompson grew up in the fields and forests of northern Wisconsin and now lives between the mountains and the sea in western Washington state. A master naturalist and former software engineer, she writes to help her readers—and herself—better understand the world we all share. She is co-author of the Two Truths and a Lie series and author of several award-winning nonfiction books, including the teen how-to guide, Be a Changemaker, and Emmanuel’s Dream, a picture book biography about Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, which won the Schneider Family Book Award and was named an ALA Notable Children’s Book and a CCBC Choice, among other accolades. Visit her online at lauriethompson.com.
Jay Fleck is the best-selling illustrator of more than a dozen books for kids, including the Tiny T. Rex series co-created with author Jonathan Stutzman and the Feel-Good Fairy Tales series, written by #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Verde. When not creating books, Jay lives, runs, and creates in a suburb south of Chicago with his wife, their two kids, and their loyal dog, Otis. Visit him online at jayfleck.com.
Dial Books is offering a print copy bundle of You Are a Honey Bee! and You Are a Raccoon! by Laurie Ann Thompson & Jay Fleck to THREE of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read You Are a Raccoon! by Laurie Ann Thompson (illustrated by Jay Fleck) with a preschooler in your life?