FICTION

Hannah Sparkles: Hooray for the First Day of School!

Harper/HarperCollins/. Jun. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062322340.
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PreS-Gr 1–Hannah Sparkles and her best friend, Sunny Everbright, are about to begin first grade. Though Hannah prides herself on being “the type of girl who can make friends with anybody,” she encounters unexpected difficulty in connecting with her new classmates. The other students aren’t interested in glitter pens, butterfly nets, or cheers, but with a little help from her pal Sunny, and their classroom’s “refill station,” Hannah learns that being a good friend means watching and listening and allowing her soon-to-be friends to take the lead. Hannah Sparkles is perpetually optimistic, energetic, and unwaveringly girly. The illustrations are brightly colored and dynamic to match. The illustrations are created with a combination of hand sketching and digital art. The human characters are depicted with a variety of expressive features, which provide readers with a good indication of how Hannah’s classmates feel about her exuberant behavior.
VERDICT The theme of friendship and first-day jitters will surely resonate with new students. The story introduces mindfulness as a tool even for young students and is told using primarily short sentences, suitable for reading aloud to young children or independent reading for early elementary students

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