Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book two hundred and twenty-one

Being the new kid in school can be hard. Actually, it can be excruciating if you are a shy. In today's picture book, you will meet a child who is "the new girl," and another little girl who is trying to figure out what the new girl is like. Both children need a friend, and neither one of them knows how to get around the "new girl" barrier.I think this book could really help a child who is trying to adjust to a new school environment.

Jacqui Robbins
Illustrations by Matt Phelan
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Simon and Schuster, 2006, 978-0-689-86468-1
    There is a new girl in Mia’s class and her name is Shakeeta. Shakeeta is very shy but she does manage to tell everyone that she has a pet iguana. Ms. Becky, the teacher, tells everyone that they should do what they can to make Shakeeta “feel at home.” All the girls want to show Shakeeta around and then D.J. makes fun of her. Shakeeta tells him that she will punch him in the head. 
   Not wanting to get punched in the head herself, Mia keeps her distance, but she cannot help feeling that Shakeeta cannot possibly be feeling at home. Surely she must be feeling really uncomfortable.
   On the second day at school, things are even worse. D.J tells Shakeeta that she cannot play soccer.  Then he tells her that she looks like an iguana and the whole class laughs. Soon Mia and Shakeeta are alone. What should Mia do now?
   When you are shy and prone to worrying about things, it is not easy to makes friends, and when you are the new kid in a class it is not easy to make friends either. This picture book explores the relationship that develops between two little girls who are lonely and who seemingly have nothing in common.
   With language that will resonate with children, and illustrations that are expressive, this is a picture book that will charm young readers.   

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