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Book Buzz: Play With Me!

Book Buzz: Play With Me!

Play With Me! 

Written and illustrated by Michelle Lee 

Ages 3-5, Penguin Young Readers 


Birthday parties are sometimes a challenge for young ones to all have a good time. To have a successful party, there needs to be some planning to get everyone involved in the activities. 

For example, Michelle Lee’s Play With Me! brings together two friends, with different play-time agendas. Best friends Nico and Pip meet on the lawn and decide to play together. Each brought things that make them happy when playing. Pip, the more rambunctious one, has many ideas of what makes good play-time fun. By the size of the big box full of stuff he is wheeling into the scene, you know that there is silliness in the mix. Nico, on the other hand, brings out a simple cello and begins to play. 

Pip drags out item after item out of his bigbox of stuff. He asks of Nico, “Do you want to play ball?” 

Nico says, “Not so much,” and continues to play his cello. 

“Hmm, then how about dolls?” Pip asks. 

“Not today,” Nico responds. 

The precocious Pip offers up several more play-time favorites. From blocks, to hopscotch, to jump rope, the list seems endless. Each time, Nico declines politely as he continues to play his cello. 

With growing frustration, Pip yells, “Come on and play!” 

“I am playing… my cello,” says Nico. 

“I meant play with me!” Pip shouts back. 

The story takes a dramatic turn as the two friends try to figure out how they can play together and each be happy doing it. Finally they find a way to have a fun play-time experience. 

Lee’s watercolor and ink paintings are light and colorful with lots of white space that highlights the comical figures of Pip and Nico. The layout is simple and easy to read. 

All parents want a successful birthday party for their kiddos. Planning fun for all the guests will ensure a memorable experience for everyone. 


Chuck Galey writes and illustrates picture books. Visit his website to see what he’s up to at

About The Author

Chuck Galey

Chuck Galey has drawn all his life. “I had everything I needed growing up in a small farm town in the Mississippi Delta; a pencil, a piece of paper and a long-winded Baptist preacher.” He has illustrated over seventy educational books and eleven children’s picture books, one that he authored. When he is not working on books in his studio in Jackson, Mississippi, he is presenting exciting school programs that inspire and astonish students. His programs, listed on the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Teaching Artist Roster, encourage them to be creative in their reading, writing and art. For additional information about Chuck , visit his website:

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