FICTION

Iced Out

Cicada. Nov. 2019. 32p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781908714626.
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PreS-Gr 2–Wilfred, a walrus, and Neville, a narwhal, simply do not fit in with the rest of the class at Miss Blubber’s School for Arctic Mammals. (The other students appear to be arctic seals.) Not being invited to parties or to play on sports teams is bad enough, but Wilfred and Neville don’t even like each other. Neville spears the soccer ball with his tusk; Wilfred always has a peculiar smell about him. When Betty Beluga, a confident, independent whale, joins the class, Neville, Wilfred, and the rest of the class are smitten by her and vie for her attention. Neville, Wilfred, and Betty begin to play together and finally find acceptance with their classmates, but on their own terms, of course. Line drawings with splashes of limited bold color add a touch of humor to the straightforward, easy-to-read text.
VERDICT While not an essential purchase, this is an appealing read-aloud that can be used to generate discussion about classroom and playground dynamics.

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