Bibsy Cross and the Bad Apple

Knopf. (Bibsy Cross: Bk. 1). Jun. 2024. 128p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780593644416.
Gr 2-4–Life is a breeze for title character Bibsy: a “regular-pegular” eight-year-old girl who is introduced in this early chapter book series’ first installment. From the “bell that begins the day” to read-alouds with her favorite teachers, Bibsy has loved school since kindergarten. Now in third grade, Bibsy struggles to connect with her new teacher, Mrs. Stumper, who thinks Bibsy is too chatty and often dims her bright, inquisitive mind. It also does not help that her best friend Natia is in a different class this year. Mrs. Stumper’s bulletin board of paper apples displays students’ names and whether or not they stay hung on the class tree throughout the day, fall to the ground, or get figurative wormholes hole-punched in them—all dependent on individual behavior. As the status of her apple looms over her like a dark cloud each day, Bibsy does her best to stay true to herself and hope for acceptance from her teacher. Bibsy shows a magnetic love for the many ingredients that codify being a happy kid (including but not limited to knitting while watching TV and riding her bike), and she has an affinity for school. Young readers will find Bibsy both a likable and relatable character. This is a fine story of friendship and individuality—sprinkled with some engaging science.
VERDICT This should circulate often in an elementary library and keep readers engaged enough to continue with the subsequent books.

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