Poppleton in Summer: An Acorn Book

Scholastic. (­Poppleton: Bk. 6). May 2023. 64p. pap. $4.99. ISBN 9781338566758.
K-Gr 3–Long summer days mean plenty of time for adventure with Poppleton the pig! In this volume, readers are treated to three episodic chapters full of summer silliness. The first story leads the reader right into a Poppleton oops—he forgets sunscreen and becomes a very pink pig. He’s self-conscious, but his best friend, Cherry Ann, reminds him that even very pink pigs are wonderful. Poppleton takes his next adventure farther afield when he and Hudson, a tiny friend, rent a jeep and gallivant through the country, ultimately ending up stuck in a muddy field. It takes some special friends to “un-stuck” the jeep. In the next story, summer rains help Poppleton’s plants grow strong and beautiful. He wonders if the rain will do the same for him? Rylant employs multisyllabic words, many of which are found in a reader’s daily language, and intersperses longer sentences among shorter ones to encourage readers and build confidence in reading more complicated stories. Lines are often longer than ideal, but generous white space and kerning balance it well. The digital illustrations beautifully combine texture and action with the illustrative simplicity required of beginning readers. Teague seamlessly creates character emotion, enabling readers to use expressions to help decode the narrative and add additional thoughts. The book includes a “Meet the Characters” page in the front, as well as a “You Can Draw Hudson!” section in the back. A “What’s Your Story?” prompt helps build text-to-life connections.
VERDICT An amiable story perfect to elicit smiles from burgeoning readers.

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