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Animal Character, Early/Young Readers, Humor, Picture Books, Read-Aloud Suggestions, STAR OF THE NORTH NOMINEE, Teacher & Parent Recommendations

THE GOOD FOR NOTHING BUTTON by Charice Mericle Harper…2020 MN STAR OF THE NORTH nominee

Yellow Bird brings a button to show Red Bird and Blue Bird. They disagree over what the button can actually do. Yellow Bird argues that it does nothing. Red Bird and Blue Bird discover all kinds of effects when the button is pressed–much to Yellow Bird’s irritation.

The third book in the Elephant & Piggie Also Like Reading series, Button stays true to the big colors and humor of the series. The colors are done in bold, flat, primary colors with little illustration extraneous to the characters and current action and reaction of those characters. The humor is that brilliant blend of big, physical, slapstick-like laughs in Yellow Bird’s increasingly frustrated responses to the other two and the quiet, smart, word-based humor of Red Bird and Blue Bird’s clever observations.

No one can resist the allure of a button to push! We actually have four buttons that do ‘nothing’ (except make noise)on the kitchen counter in my house.  My husband, my two teenagers and I often press them randomly throughout the day. Delightful and silly in all the best ways, The Good for Nothing Button is a great read-aloud at home or in the classroom. For slightly older children it also offers the opportunity to examine the idea that ‘nothing’ can often be full of possibilities simply by slightly altering our perspective.


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