Movie: The Emoji Movie: Readalikes for Kids
Amazon’s Description: “The Emoji Movie unlocks the never-before-seen secret world inside your smartphone. Hidden within the messaging app is Textopolis, a bustling city where all your favorite emojis live, hoping to be selected by the phone’s user. In this world, each emoji has only one facial expression – except for Gene, an exuberant emoji who was born without a filter and is bursting with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his handy best friend Hi-5 and the notorious code breaker emoji Jailbreak. Together, they embark on an epic “app-venture” through the apps on the phone, each its own wild and fun world, to find the Code that will fix Gene. But when a greater danger threatens the phone, the fate of all emojis depends on these three unlikely friends who must save their world before it’s deleted forever.”
Main appeal: Action, Adventure, Humor
Amazon’s Description: “Follow Annie Emoji, her devilish brother, Kevin, and her BFF’s Dot and Billy as they maneuver their way through life in a land of emojis. In Book #1, Annie desperately wants to get invited to the popular kids’ party – but will she be one of the lucky ones to get an invitation?”
Crossover Appeal: The plot in this six-volume series is quite similar to that of The Emoji Movie — featuring an emoji protagonist living within her own virtual world: populated by the familiar faces of our favorite emojis. Large text, pictures galore, and short chapters will make this accessible for struggling readers. Grade 3+.
Amazon’s Description: “In the first in this series of three unofficial Minecraft adventure books, it’s time for our 12-year-old hero to choose his future vocation to study at the Minecraft school. His options are less than tantalizing: farmer, butcher, crafter, miner. What this noob really wants is to be a warrior like his hero, Steve. So when he learns that the five best students in school that year will get the chance to start warrior training, it’s on.”
Crossover Appeal: Here again, readers have the world of video games come alive. Our protagonist, Runt, is, as his name suggests, the underdog and outsider embarking on his own journey of self-discovery just as Gene is in The Emoji Movie. Grades 3+.
Amazon’s Description: “Uh-oh, Animal Town is in trouble! Meanie King Viking has created a dreaded robot army to spread No Fun across the land. On top of that, he has stolen the happiest and most fun animal ever, Singing Dog. There is only one person who can save the day — Super Rabbit Boy! Super Rabbit Boy is super fast and super brave, but he’s also a video game character living in a video game world. What will happen when Sunny, the boy playing the game, loses each level? Will it be game over for Super Rabbit Boy and all his friends?”
Crossover Appeal: This series is great for newly independent readers (part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line, Branches). Our protagonist, Super Rabbit Boy, lives inside the virtual Animal Town video game. The plot also takes on the meta aspect of The Emoji Movie — with the non-virtual world threatening the very existence of the virtual. Grades K+.
Amazon’s Description: “What do programs tell computers to do? And how are they written? Programs are instructions that computers follow. Learn about different programming languages, coding rules and bugs, and how to solve problems.”
Crossover Appeal: Love for The Emoji Movie is a great jumping off point to introduce non-fiction books on coding. There are many good juvenile nonfiction coding books out there, and this one is great for absolute beginners. Grades 2+.
Amazon’s Description: “Two fourth-grade boys who write comic books and love to pull pranks find themselves in big trouble. Mean Mr. Krupp, their principal, videotapes George and Harold setting up their stunts and threatens to expose them. The boys’ luck changes when they send for a 3-D Hypno-Ring and hypnotize Krupp, turning him into Captain Underpants, their own superhero creation.”
Crossover Appeal: Let’s be honest: the real star of The Emoji Movie is Poop Emoji. The subversive, pseudo-taboo ‘potty humor’ that threads throughout the movie is also a key appeal of the Captain Underpants series. Grades 2+.