Ellie Mae Dreams Big!

by Kristina McMorris (Author) Amanda Yoshida (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

The sister duo of New York Times best-selling novelist Kristina McMorris and award-winning artist Amanda Yoshida makes their collaborative debut with a delightful story of a girl whose big dreams are far from ordinary.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

At the teacher's all-important question, Ellie Mae's mind swirls with ideas. An astronaut or a chef? Better yet, why not an astronaut-chef? Since the moon is made of cheese, her galactic grilled-cheese sandwiches could be known throughout the universe! Or . . . she could be a 'ballerina-painter, ' creating masterpieces while leaping across the stage.

In the end, there are so many options, Ellie Mae fears she can't possibly pick--until the answer dawns on her. What she chooses will surprise her classmates as much as the reader!

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Kirkus Reviews

Fun and silly--but sure to inspire kids to dream big.

Publishers Weekly

McMorris encourages boundary-defying self-exploration in this standard dress-up drama. Ellie Mae doesn't like "assignments with too many choices," so she struggles when her teacher asks the class to dress up as what they aspire to be when they grow up. Luckily, "an exciting idea zapped into her mind," and she's soon envisioning a series of goofy costume mash-ups: astronaut-chef ("Her gooey, galactic, grilled cheese sandwiches would be known throughout the universe"), candy-farmer, pirate-dentist, zookeeper-teacher, and ballerina-painter. Unsure how to decide, the East Asian-cued child worries before coming up with a solution that wholeheartedly leans into the plethora of choices. Yoshida's digital cartoon renderings of Ellie Mae's imaginings have a static quality that nevertheless succeeds in extending the protagonist's big dreams, which should inspire a similar creative spirit in readers. Ages 3-6. (Jan.)

Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Funny and imaginative Ellie Mae teaches readers to dream big and believe they can become anything. Ellie Mae is spontaneous and quirky, with lots of emotions and creativity, brought to life by vivid, candy-colored illustrations. Fun and silly—but sure to inspire kids to dream big. — Kirkus Reviews
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication date
January 20, 2024
BISAC categories
JUV051000 - Juvenile Fiction | Imagination & Play
JUV035000 - Juvenile Fiction | School & Education
JUV048000 - Juvenile Fiction | Clothing & Dress
Library of Congress categories
Picture books

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