April & Mae and the Sleepover
Megan Dowd Lambert, author
Megan Dowd Lambert is the author of A Kid of Their Own, A Crow of His Own, Real Sisters Pretend, and Reading Picture Books with Children. Her experiences as a white mother of seven children in a blended, multiracial, queer, adoptive family inform her work as an author, reviewer, and educator. A former children's literature instructor at Simmons University, Megan reviews and writes for Kirkus and Horn Book; is a consultant with EmbraceRace, a community focused on race and kids; and serves on the curation team of Our Shelves, a subscription box service that features racially diverse, LGBTQ+, and feminist characters and families.
Read more about Megan.
Gisela Bohórquez, illustrator
Gisela Bohórquez fell in love with drawing when her parents gave her a huge box of crayons at three years old. Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, she was always surrounded by her uncle Jairo’s amazing books and her father’s drawings. At school, she used to sell little stickers with animals she drew herself. Ever since, Gisela knew she wanted to be an artist and work with shapes and colors. She studied Graphic Design in college, where she learned digital illustration and fell in love with those techniques. She loves to put her whole heart in her work: according to her, that’s the secret to connecting people with her designs.
Read more about Gisela.
- Coming soon!
School Library Journal
Mae arrives at April’s house for a sleepover in the Friday book of the Every Day with April & Mae series. April, who has brown skin, looks forward to sleeping outside in a tent. Her best friend, Mae, who has pale skin, isn’t so sure about the plan. Their pets—April’s dog and Mae’s cat—join them for the sleepover, adding a cute, if somewhat implausible, element to the endeavor. Simple sentence structures with one- and two-syllable words make this story accessible to emerging readers ready for slightly longer stories with deeper content. Brightly colored illustrations provide textual clues and include many fun details, such as April’s sleeping bonnet and Mae’s eye mask. In this satisfying tale, the characters demonstrate the give and take of friendship. To make sure that Mae is comfortable, April brings out extra pillows and a blanket. Mae decides to get up early to prepare a delicious breakfast, even though she’s a night owl. With nary an adult in sight, the girls have successfully planned and enjoyed another weekly activity. Kids will take note!
VERDICT Recommend to emerging readers looking for stories about friendship but not quite ready for early chapter books such as Annie Barrows’s Ivy & Bean or Karen English’s Nikki & Deja.
April and Mae are best friends, and so are their cat and dog. Every day, they do an activity together. On Fridays, they have sleepovers. On one Friday, April wants to try an outdoor campout, while Mae worries that sleeping in a tent won’t be comfortable. Making s’mores, singing songs, and telling scary stories all sound like fun to her. The girls decide to give their campout sleepover a chance. Both work hard to make sure it goes well. Simple, colorful illustrations add to the upbeat, fun feeling of the text as the two best friends get ready for their sleepover. The story keeps a positive, gentle tone as it explores how to navigate friendship challenges. When Mae says she's uncomfortable, April responds by acknowledging how her friend feels and compromising so that Mae feels better. Short sentences and clear illustrations make this a perfect book for readers transitioning from picture books to chapter books. Recommended.
Page count: 48
6 x 9