It’s a warm, sunny day, and the gang heads to the neighborhood
playground to play. What should they play? Henry wants to play
basketball, and Padma wants to play Follow the Leader. Finally Pablo
comes up with a great idea: to play pretend. It’s a game that everyone
can do easily. They can pretend to be archaeologists, astronauts, and
explorers. There’s no limit to what they imagine they can be!
Kirkus - In the companion title to Yoo and Ng-Benitez's Lily's New Home,
Lily enjoys playing with a diverse group of friends in her new
neighborhood. A helpful title-page illustration introduces Lily and her
friends, Henry, Mei, Pablo, and Padma, by name in order to
support new readers in keeping track of them from one page to the next.
Then, the first brief chapter opens with Pablo heading outside to read
after being distracted by his sisters' indoor play. He abandons his
book, however, when Lily comes by with her mother and invites him to go
to the park. They are soon joined by Mei, Henry, and Padma, and they go
on the swings, play basketball, and climb on the play structure.
Ng-Benitez's inviting multimedia art deftly conveys a shift when the
children's play moves into imaginary scenarios as verso-page depictions
of the playground come into dialogue with facing recto images of
imagined scenes in a cave, at the beach, in space, and so on. When rain
threatens, the children all go to Pablo's house where they join his
sisters in their play. Young readers are sure to want to join Pablo,
Lily, and all of their friends, and it's wonderful to note that the
diverse characterization will aid in making many feel all the more
5 Girls Book Review - This book was enjoyable. My favorite part is when they are pretending to
be at the beach because the descriptions and pictures look and sound so
real. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to
7. I recommend this book to kids that like to play with their friends
and have big imaginations.
Reading While White - While Paula Yoo has written excellent books for older readers,
she proves herself to be just as good at writing for new readers, which
is no easy task. Although the story lines are simple, she adds depth to
each one. In Lily's New Home the diversity that defines the city becomes part of the story line, and in Want to Play? the
children's imaginary play (so well reflected in Shirley Ng-Benitez's
illustrations) makes the playground even more fun. Most remarkably, Yoo
and Ng-Benitez together have created truly engaging child characters
living in a vivid realistic world with just a few masterful lines of
text and ink. I hope these will be the first two volumes of a long and
successful series about the five friends. What a great beginning for Dive into Reading! -- and for brand new readers.