STANLEY’S SECRET, by John Sullivan and Zach Manbeck, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, Jan. 24, 2023, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 4-8)
A young boy discovers the joy of sharing his talent in Stanley’s Secret, by John Sullivan and Zach Manbeck.
The only audience shy, quiet Stanley dances in front of is his pet mice, Squeaker and Nibbles. He also practices when he’s alone in empty classrooms or the gym when he helps the janitor after school, tap dancing shuffle, tippy-tap, tippy-tap. “Talent should be shared,” encourages Principal Reynolds. Can Stanley find the courage to perform in the school talent show? —Synopsis provided by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Stanley’s Secret is a sweet and to-the-point picture book that encourages young readers to embrace and share their talents. John Sullivan’s text is simple, yet perfectly captures Stanley’s emotions. Zach Manbeck’s pencil and gouache illustrations further enhance the mood. His use of color is delightful and the movement in his pictures will have readers dancing, too.
The publisher’s suggested age range for Stanley’s Secret is 4-8. Based on the simple text and younger-skewing illustrations, I’d suggest 4-6 (Pre-K through first grade).
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