What A Bragger - Lee Ann Mancini

*This book is a National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist* Melissa likes to brag that she can swim the fastest, climb the highest, and has the best of everything. Corey finds her crying in the sand box with her broken shovel, the only toy she had. They all chip in treasure coins for her birthday present. Melissa prays, giving thanks to God for her friends, and learns they are more important than all the toys in the sea.

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We've all gone to school with that one kid. Melissa Blowfish is constantly bragging about all the great things she has at her house, how she's the very best at anything and everything. Her constant boasting makes the other fish feel inferior, more aware of all they don't have. Except Melissa's friend Corey is confused. He knows that Melissa is not being entirely truthful because she often asks to borrow things from him. He explains what's going on to his parents and they encourage him to continue to be a good friend to her, maybe she is acting out because of a deeper issue. Corey decides to follow Melissa home one day and finds that her home is in shambles, broken items everywhere. The next day at school he finds Melissa at the playground crying, her lies having caught up with her. She admits she doesn't think she's the best, in fact she's quite depressed. Corey knows that Melissa's birthday is coming up, so he gets the idea to get the other fish together and buy her a gift to show they still love her. Melissa learns that with true friends, you don't have to be the best, you just have to be you. 

 

Mancini once again makes one seriously beautiful children's book! Not only is the lesson an important one for all children, but the way it's presented is so gentle and touching. Add in Dan Sharp's gorgeous underwater illustrations and I'd say kids are going to eat up these stories! While I think I may have loved Fast Freddy just a little bit more, this was such a sweet and charming addition to the Sea Kids series. And for fans of Fast Freddy, he makes a subtle guest appearance in this story! 

 

FTC Disclaimer: BookCrash.com and GLM Publishing kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own.