Reading/Interest Level: Preschool
Author: Mac Barnett
Illustrator: Renata Liwska
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Following a pair of small furry animals, this picture book explores many types of places and the feelings or actions they inspire. The two friends have many places to be, including places to be loud, and awestruck, and cozy and warm. They have places to be sullen, or scared, but also to be brave. In all of these many different places to be, the two friends know they will be there together.
The text is thoughtful, providing language for the reader to savor the various ups and downs of life. It is a celebration of the full range of traits children display, including picky, mad, jubilant, and sweet. Illustrations use soft, muted colors to accentuate the fuzziness of the characters and the coziness of the settings. Places to Be would be an excellent book to teach emotions, new vocabulary, and to also discuss the value of friendship.