Bella’s Best of All
Author and Illustrator: Jamie Harper
Published January 5th, 2016 by Running Press Kids
GoodReads Summary: Bella thinks her purse, necklace, and shoes are good. And Mommy’s? Well, Mommy’s things are always better. But what happens when Bella misplaces her favorite toy? Follow this busy little mouse as she discovers what truly is the best of all.
Kellee’s Review: This is such an endearing story of a young girl’s love of her mother as well as the mischief she causes throughout her house. As a mother of an almost two-year-old, I can very much relate to Bella’s story. However, unlike Bella, my son doesn’t have a consistent favorite toy, so I have to guess which toy he wants each day. I also really love Jamie Harper’s artwork. The backgrounds are always a solid color then in the foreground you have a drawn Bella with collage accessories. It is so clever how she uses collage to bring Bella to life.
Ricki’s Review: This narrator of this story will be relatable to many children. She reminds me of myself as a child! I loved her desire to be just like her mother, and her passion and vigor for life made me smile. Kids focus on individuality, and this would be a great conversation starter about what makes them different and unique from their parents. I particularly loved the illustrations of this book. The layering of images is eye-catching and quite wonderful. I am excited to have this book for my son, and I plan to read it to him again and again. This would be a fun text to use in classrooms.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Bella’s comparisons of her things and her mom’s things would be a great conversation in an early ed classroom about why things that belong to your parents, made by your parents, or approved by your parents seem to always be better. For example, if my mom makes me a sandwich, it always taste better than if I make one. It would also be a way to start a conversation about favorite toys and could extend to a creative writing exercise where students share their favorite toy.
Discussion Questions: Now that you know what Bella loves best of all, look back through the book. Did you notice Kitty the first time? Do you notice her now? Did you see when she disappeared?; What is Bella’s relationship with her mother? What lesson does Bella learn?
“Mommy’s is better.”
Read This If You Loved: Chester the Raccoon by Audrey Penn, Hug Time by Patrick McDonnell, Never Too Little to Love by Jeanne Willis, I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak
**Thank you to Cassie from Running Press for providing copies for review!!**