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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Sometimes it’s difficult to be different: having different clothes, different hairstyles, and so on. However, it can also be cool. For one thing, if you’re not wearing the same outfits as everyone else, you’ll stand out a little more. You’ll be a novelty. Wearing bright colors like orange can definitely make you an item, something unique. Ella doesn’t realize this. She has an orange raincoat that she hates. It makes her stand out, especially with those big polka dots. However, she has to wear it whenever it rains. It keeps her warm, dry, and safe. The special powers of love created this raincoat, the special powers of her grandfather. But Ella doesn’t understand and she doesn’t like having to wear it for the family outing to the amusement park because it’s raining. She’s in for a big surprise, though, and a valuable lesson.
Anu D. Misa’s picture book story, Ella Says: It’s Cool to be Different!, is a charming story about the many ways we might appear different. Young readers will certainly relate to the main character, Ella, as she struggles with having to wear something she doesn’t like because it makes her stand out. But several things happen to Ella at the amusement park and young readers will learn alongside Ella how valuable this orange polka dot raincoat is. And, of course, that there’s always a valid reason why our parents insist we wear certain clothes. Why? Because, like Ella says, “It’s cool to be different.” Especially when these differences can become quite useful. I love the colorful illustrations that really pull this story along. A great read for young and old alike.