Evelyn is everything that the narrator is not. Evelyn is not ordinary. She is fast, jumping, fashionable, artistic, and imaginative. Our narrator is not. But when Evelyn slows down, our quiet narrator discovers that there are things that she herself is good at and Evelyn is not. Evelyn cannot spell well; she can’t do karate; she’s scared of the dark. And what Evelyn needs most is a best friend. Now that is something that our narrator definitely IS.
Smallcomb has captured the tension of friendship between an outgoing person and a quieter person. I appreciated that Evelyn is not a pushy person or a bully. Rather she is loud, gregarious and fun. Our narrator could be read as shy or as quiet, which many children will relate to. Smallcomb writes with a clever voice, allowing readers to really experience Evelyn with the wonder and thrill that our narrator feels. Readers will happily take away the lesson that we all have something to offer, whether we are in the spotlight or not.
Weinstock’s illustrations add to the humor of the book. His style is similar to the beloved James Marshall of George and Martha fame. Thanks to the illustrations and writing style, this book has a timeless feel that will welcome young readers.
Highly recommended, this is a perfect addition to friendship units or story times. It will read aloud well and young readers will connect with the characters easily. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from copy received from Schwartz & Wade Books.
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