Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The New Girl . . . and Me

The New Girl . . . and Me

Jacqui Robbins
Illustrator:  Matt Phelan 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Simon and Schuster, 2006   ISBN: 978-0689864681

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.