­Agatha May and the Anglerfish

Dial. Dec. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593324752.
PreS-Gr 3–From the childlike doodles on the endpapers to the lyrical story itself, this book is a gem in so many ways. Agatha May is a hot mess in school. Mrs. Marino is on her all the time, and poor Agatha May is always fending off criticism. Then an assignment changes everything. Taking the stage, Agatha May shows them what she has researched, and, because her focus is completely on task, her classmates hang on every gross, odd word. Every single detail will also captivate readers. Agatha May is just like every one of the children who will read this book and who will recognize their classmates or themselves in the characters. The rhyme is engaging, the art is beautifully rendered, and the story is one that plays out in schools every day. In the end, Agatha May gets her time in the spotlight and an admission from her teacher that she recognizes her talent and wants her to succeed. The information on the Angler fish is correct, and the back matter offers even more.
VERDICT This is a perfect fit for libraries, and a must buy for elementary schools. It is a lively read aloud and captures life in a classroom in a fun way.

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