#1142 – CAN I JOIN YOUR CLUB? by John Kelly and Steph Laberis

Can I Join Your Club?
Written by John Kelly
Illustrations by Steph Laberis
Kane Miller  3/09/2017
978-1-61067-593-2
32 pages   Ages 4—8

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“ Duck just has one question: Can I Join Your Club?

“He wants to belong to all of them. To any of them. Elephant Club, Lion Club, he just wants to belong. And he tries so hard to fit in so he can – kids will love pointing out in the illustrations just exactly how he tries – a curly wig, dark glasses – but it just doesn’t work. He can’t be someone else.

“So, he starts his own club. And there’s ONE rule – everyone is welcome! Because when it comes to making friends, being yourself is all that counts, in this heartwarming celebration of diversity, inclusiveness, and friendship.” [PRESS RELEASE]

Review
[WC 504]
Duck wants to make a friend, and what better way to make a friend than to join a club. Duck shows up on pledge day and tries the first club he sees: Lion Club. He sports a big red mane, which impresses Lion. “But can you ROAR like a lion?” he asks, showing Duck how best to roar. Duck tries, but he doesn’t sound like a roaring lion. Lion stamps the application “DENIED,” while saying, “You are not what we are looking for in Lion Club.”
Duck next tries the Snake Club, while sporting the same cool sunglasses Snake wore. Snake doesn’t seem impressed. He wants to know if Duck has any legs or arms. And can Duck HISS like a snake? “Application DENIED!” said Snake. “You’re not really what we’re looking for in Snake Club”

At the Elephant Club, Duck shows up wearing a pair of glasses, hoping to look smart, just like Elephant. “How is your memory?” asks Elephant, who then recites a 42-word mantra for Duck to repeat. Duck cannot repeat the mantra and he cannot TRUMPET like Elephant. Application Denied. “You’re not really what we’re looking for in Club Elephant.”
Resigned, Duck starts his own club: Duck Club. The first applicant, Tortoise, receives a gold star when he passes the screening. Rabbit vaults through, Mouse squeaks by, and the Blue Birds sing their way in. Soon it seems everyone wants to join Duck—Our Club (as Duck renames it). Duck does not deny anyone admission, not even a snake.

Can I Join Your Club quickly and neatly shows kids the power of exclusivity. Not gaining admittance into Lion, Snake, or Elephant’s Club made Duck feel bad. He could not fit in anywhere. Each “Application DENIED” Duck heard plummeted his self-esteem, self-worth, and his energy. But Duck would not give up, he wanted to make friends.
By starting his own club, Duck shows kids the power of inclusiveness. Our Club did not have breed-specific requirements. The one and only requirement is the desire to join. So many animals wanted to join a club like Duck’s they left Lion Club, Snake Club, and Elephant Club in the dirt—literally. Those clubs closed for lack of members.

Our Club gave the animals a place where they could belong just for who they were, not for what they needed to become. Duck’s self-esteem rose, his self-worth returned, and he has loads of energy for all his new friends. Young children, especially those currently in school, will love Can I Join Your Club? Many kids will identify with Duck.
Can I Join Your Club belongs in schools, counselor offices, pediatrician offices, and anywhere else young kids can find themselves turned away by peers or looking for help. Children can find a hero in Duck who fought the exclusive clubs with a club of his own. In the end, inclusiveness wins, as does friendship, and positive personal growth. It is amazing how much a book with so few words can resonate with so many people.

Happy Easter, Kid Lit Readers!

CAN I JOIN YOUR CLUB? Text copyright © 2017 by John Kelly. Illustrations copyright © 2017 by Steph Laberis. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Kane Miller, Tulsa, OK.
.        .     .*Originally published in Great Britain © 2017 by Little Tiger Press

UsborneIndie BooksBook Depository

Add CAN I JOIN YOUR CLUB? to Your Goodreads Shelf HERE.

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Illustrations from CAN I JOIN YOUR CLUB? by John Kelly copyright © 2017 by Steph Laberis. Used with permission from Kane Miller/EDC Publishing.

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Copyright © 2017 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

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Can I Join Your Club?
Written by John Kelly
Illustrations by Steph Laberis
Kane Miller 3/09/2017
9781610675932

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Don’t forget, WIN 6 BOOKS! now until end of April! – every comment is worth an entry to KLR’s 6th anniversary giveaway. Win 6 of the books reviewed here on KLR. Enter daily. More information.

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