“Preller addresses topics such as kindness,
activism, immigration, community involvement . . .
A fresh new series
nudging emerging readers towards social change
and kindness towards others.”
— School Library Journal
I am so glad to pass along this incredible review for my “buddy bench” book, Everybody Needs a Buddy. Thank you so much, Kate Nafz, of School Library Journal. Many nice things here, including a comparison to Wonder and a shout out to the illustrations of Stephen Gilpin. Pub date is late January.
Would I like to see our young people socially active and engaged in making this a kinder planet? I’m counting on it!
This full review will be published in the December issue of SLJ.
Gr 2-4–Preller, author of the popular “Jigsaw Jones” books, launches a new series about friends who strive to make their school community a better place. When Deon notices a new kid standing sadly by himself during recess, he and his friends brainstorm possible ways to involve this student, as well as other loners, during recess. The Big Idea Gang has lots of ideas, including assembling a spaceship on the playground, until they hit upon the idea of a “buddy bench” as a place to go for kids who are feeling lonely during recess, signaling to others that companionship is needed. It is up to the gang with the help of their engaged teacher Miss Zips to make a case for adding a buddy bench even without the necessary funds. The narrative features children of various cultural backgrounds and genders hanging out together and cooperating in order to improve their community. Preller addresses topics such as kindness, activism, immigration, community involvement, and the dangers of gossip in an approachable way for a young audience. Readers will appreciate the numerous cartoon illustrations, short chapters with snappy titles, and large print with wide page margins. This title has classroom appeal and is perfect for kids not quite ready for Wonder. The other title in the set, The Worst Mascot Ever, appears to be the series opener, but readers can jump into this volume with no trouble. VERDICT A fresh new series nudging emerging readers towards social change and kindness towards others.–Kate Nafz, Fair Lawn Public Library, NJ