Leila’s birthday was planned to be an outdoor celebration until the storm hit and it had to be moved inside. Leila doesn’t deal well with changes, but with the support of her mother and her service dog, she manages to rethink the day more than once! They will still have the Wish Jar rather than singing Happy Birthday, a sparkly craft to replace balloons, and extra icing on the cake. The unicorn races moved to an indoor course and were still lots of fun. Until…a crash happened and the cake ended up on the floor. Now the schedule is ruined and Leila takes a break with her dog. After the break, it is Leila who comes up with the solution to continue the birthday party even without cake to share.
Another in the Little Senses series, this book is particularly designed to reflect the experience of children on the autism spectrum as well as those with sensory processing issues. Cotterill’s text is simple and pace of the story is fast. This helps with understanding Leila’s reactions as she is hit multiple times with big changes to her plans. She also demonstrates how to use techniques and support to face change, to remind herself that it turned out alright in previous experiences, and to find a new and positive way forward.
The art is friendly and bright, showing characters of various races and featuring a Black child and mother at its center. Leila’s emotions can be read easily in the images, showing her excitement, worry, sadness and happiness in turns.
Another winner in a series that speaks to so many children. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from copy provided by Dial Books for Young Readers.
First introduced in Sir Simon: Super Scarer, this new graphic novel continues the partnership of Simon and Chester. Chester is bored, there’s nothing to do and Simon refuses to play clowns with him. But when Chester is digging in the items in the attic, he discovers a hat that is just right for being a detective. Simon, the ghost, wants to be the lead and Chester happily acts as his assistant. They set up their detective agency in the attic, complete with the right sort of lighting. Now all they need is a mystery to solve. They search for one, and then hear a strange “snork” noise coming from the kitchen. They discover a pug dog there, and now must solve the mystery of who owns him. There are lots of false leads, some fake legs, and dreams of a rich reward before the mystery is ultimately solved.
Full of lots of humor, this graphic novel is ideal for new readers who will love the format and the engaging storyline. The two characters are marvelous together, each happily playing along as the other takes their ideas in a new direction. The results are a hilarious book with a good mystery at its center but lots of silliness along the way. The writing is strong and the two characters are great fun to spend time with.
The art in the book is immensely inviting. It is richly modern with plenty of humorous visual jokes. I particularly guffawed when Simon tries to have fake legs and then doesn’t quite understand how to use them successfully. The question of whether the pug is a real dog is also a hoot as is their searching the kitchen for clues. There’s so much to love visually here.
A funny mystery for new readers to solve. Appropriate for ages 5-8.