Copy cat by Ali Pye
Nosy Crow, 2016. ISBN 9780857636812
Bella loves Anna so much that she wants to be just like her - so much so that she copies everything Anna does. Whether it's playing with the hula hoop, being a ballerina or a pirate, Bella is right there being Anna's mirror. But trouble erupts when Anna decides to be a princess and Bella copies her as usual, but there is just one crown. Anna gets very cross and tells Bella to stop copying her and goes off to play be herself.
At first Bella is sad because she has no one to copy and no one to play with - and then she discovers a skipping rope in her toybox. And as she practises and practises, Chloe looks on wishing she could skip too.
'It's easy!' said Bella. 'Just copy me!'
And then Anna comes looking for Bella.
Even though this story stars three cats, it could quite easily focus on three children in the playground so well does it reflect the different dynamics of friendships and activities as they ebb and flow. Told with a lot of repetitive text that invites the young reader to join in, it not only engages them but also opens up opportunities to talk about friendships and how to make and maintain them. The eye-catching, colourful illustrations add an extra dimension to this well-told tale that is perfect for early childhood readers who enjoy something a little different.