Early Book Review: Fred Wants To Play by Janna de Lathouder, Anne Schneider

Fred Wants To Play is a picturebook written by Janna de Lathouder and illustrated by  Anne Schneider. It is currently scheduled for release on June 11 2018. It's quiet time and Fred knows he is supposed to keep still, but keeping still isn't easy for Fred. A bouncy feeling makes him want to play. Fred feels all alone until he meets Scott. Fred and Scott know how hard it is to keep the colorful feelings inside. Can these two friends help the other fish join in the fun?

Fred Wants To Play is a colorful and thoughtful picturebook about friendship. Fred is an octopus that sometimes has trouble controlling his energy, sometimes he just has to move and play. The others do not want to play with him because he sometimes gets too bouncy. Feeling alone and different he finally encounters someone that is very different from him, but that shares the same bouncy feeling that gets him in so much trouble. Together they plan a way to play together, and play with everyone else. I love that they channel their energy rather than ignoring or burying it, embracing those differences rather than trying to make them go away. So often teachers and parents feel like children need to conform rather than find away to make it work with the people around them and their environment. I really liked the artwork. The pastel colors popped and captured the emotion and movement of the characters. I loved that it took a character trait that often is seen as negative, and shows characters finding a way to turn it into a positive experience.  
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