Albert’s Almost Amazing Adventure
Marty Kelley
Islandport Press, 2016
ages 4-8
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My mother spent most of her life prepping for the big ones: Christmas, birthdays, and trips to Disney World. She told her stories in the same way. “Well there was this time I was in Monaco with Princess Grace,” she would say. Everything sounded so thrilling, you felt like your stories should be equally exciting. So, sometimes…you made them up. Now, at the ripe old age of 47, I prefer to look at each day as an adventure. This is why it was so nice to meet Albert in the new picture book by Marty Kelley.

In Kelley’s, Albert’s Almost Amazing Adventure, Albert is one of those rare individuals who likes the day to day normal things that happen. He takes pleasure in having made a friend or watching someone eat a hot dog with mustard. So, when he comes back from a trip to Maine, he can’t wait to share these things with his friends. As he’s sharing, his friends interrupt him to add exciting, amazing details to his story.

Kelley’s illustrations are symbolic of Albert’s story. They are black and white when Albert is sharing, but boldly colorful when his friends add amazing details. The surprise ending is fun, but also important in that Albert is amazed by everything.

I love the idea of using this book as a close read with kids in K-2. There is much to be discovered from the word play to the many places one sentence can go. Kelley does a great job of showing how kids respond to each other and of keeping Albert true to himself.

This book comes out March 15, 2016 and is sure to be a hit in primary classrooms.