cover image Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker

Shelley Johannes. Disney-Hyperion, $14.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-4847-6738-2

Debut author Johannes introduces a proudly unconventional heroine in Beatrice Zinker, who “always did her best thinking upside down” and shows up in a ninja outfit on the first day of third grade. The only problem (besides a teacher who’s determined to “keep an eye on” her) is that her best friend Lenny didn’t wear her ninja costume, as the girls had planned: Lenny instead shows up at school with a chic new look and a new friend. Johannes’s orange-splashed illustrations have as much energy and personality as her heroine—Beatrice slinks, leaps, bends, and bounds across the pages, (and sometimes trips and falls). Fans of free spirits such as Judy Moody and Dory Fantasmagory are a natural audience for this promising series kickoff. Ages 7–10. Agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Sept.)