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Becoming Vanessa

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Hardcover
$18.99 US
| $24.99 CAN
On sale Jun 15, 2021 | 40 Pages | 978-0-525-58212-0
Age 3-6 years | Up to Kindergarten
Reading Level: Lexile AD540L | Fountas & Pinnell M
Get ready to go back to school with this inclusive, empathetic story that will help kids new to the classroom transform from timid caterpillars into beautiful butterflies who love exactly who they are!

On Vanessa's first day of school, her parents tell her it will be easy to make friends. Vanessa isn't so sure. She wears her fanciest outfit so her new classmates will notice her right away. They notice, but the attention isn't what she'd hoped for. As the day goes on, she feels more self-conscious. Her clothes are too bright, her feather boa has way too many feathers, and even her name is too hard to write.

The next day, she picks out a plain outfit, and tells her mom that her name is too long. She just wants to blend in, with a simple name like the other girls--why couldn't her parents have named her Megan or Bella? But when her mother tells her the meaning behind her name, it gives her the confidence she needs to introduce her classmates to the real Vanessa. Perfect for readers of Alma and How She Got Her Name and The King of Kindergarten.
  • SELECTION | 2022
    Kansas National Education Association Reading Circle Catalog
  • RECOMMENDED | 2021
    Indie Next
"This classic school story offers a full range of emotions and situates this life-loving Black child in affirming family and school settings. A welcome addition to every shelf."--Kirkus

"Bright, childlike mixed-media illustrations with a variety of patterns will appeal to youngsters, and the idea of a name having a meaning will be new to many children."--Booklist

"A hopeful celebration of individualism and an ode to recognizing one’s inner specialness."--Publishers Weekly
Vanessa Brantley-Newton is a self-taught illustrator, doll maker, and crafter who studied fashion illustration at FIT and children's book illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She is the author and illustrator of Grandma's Purse, Just Like Me, and Becoming Vanessa, and has illustrated numerous children's books, including the New York Times bestsellers The King of Kindergarten and The Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes and Sewing Stories by Barbara Herkert. Vanessa currently makes her nest in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, daughter, and a very rambunctious cat named Stripes. Learn more about Vanessa and her artwork at VanessaBrantleyNewton.com and on Facebook and Instagram. View titles by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Becoming Vanessa - Read Aloud With Author Vanessa Brantley-Newton | Brightly Storytime

Classroom Activities for Becoming Vanessa

Classroom activities supplement discussion and traditional lessons with group projects and creative tasks. Can be used in pre-existing units and lessons, or as stand-alone.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

Discussion Guide for Becoming Vanessa

Provides questions, discussion topics, suggested reading lists, introductions and/or author Q&As, which are intended to enhance reading groups’ experiences.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

About

Get ready to go back to school with this inclusive, empathetic story that will help kids new to the classroom transform from timid caterpillars into beautiful butterflies who love exactly who they are!

On Vanessa's first day of school, her parents tell her it will be easy to make friends. Vanessa isn't so sure. She wears her fanciest outfit so her new classmates will notice her right away. They notice, but the attention isn't what she'd hoped for. As the day goes on, she feels more self-conscious. Her clothes are too bright, her feather boa has way too many feathers, and even her name is too hard to write.

The next day, she picks out a plain outfit, and tells her mom that her name is too long. She just wants to blend in, with a simple name like the other girls--why couldn't her parents have named her Megan or Bella? But when her mother tells her the meaning behind her name, it gives her the confidence she needs to introduce her classmates to the real Vanessa. Perfect for readers of Alma and How She Got Her Name and The King of Kindergarten.

Awards

  • SELECTION | 2022
    Kansas National Education Association Reading Circle Catalog
  • RECOMMENDED | 2021
    Indie Next

Reviews

"This classic school story offers a full range of emotions and situates this life-loving Black child in affirming family and school settings. A welcome addition to every shelf."--Kirkus

"Bright, childlike mixed-media illustrations with a variety of patterns will appeal to youngsters, and the idea of a name having a meaning will be new to many children."--Booklist

"A hopeful celebration of individualism and an ode to recognizing one’s inner specialness."--Publishers Weekly

Author

Vanessa Brantley-Newton is a self-taught illustrator, doll maker, and crafter who studied fashion illustration at FIT and children's book illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She is the author and illustrator of Grandma's Purse, Just Like Me, and Becoming Vanessa, and has illustrated numerous children's books, including the New York Times bestsellers The King of Kindergarten and The Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes and Sewing Stories by Barbara Herkert. Vanessa currently makes her nest in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, daughter, and a very rambunctious cat named Stripes. Learn more about Vanessa and her artwork at VanessaBrantleyNewton.com and on Facebook and Instagram. View titles by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Media

Becoming Vanessa - Read Aloud With Author Vanessa Brantley-Newton | Brightly Storytime

Guides

Classroom Activities for Becoming Vanessa

Classroom activities supplement discussion and traditional lessons with group projects and creative tasks. Can be used in pre-existing units and lessons, or as stand-alone.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)

Discussion Guide for Becoming Vanessa

Provides questions, discussion topics, suggested reading lists, introductions and/or author Q&As, which are intended to enhance reading groups’ experiences.

(Please note: the guide displayed here is the most recently uploaded version; while unlikely, any page citation discrepancies between the guide and book is likely due to pagination differences between a book’s different formats.)