cover image Hannah Sparkles: Hooray for the First Day of School!

Hannah Sparkles: Hooray for the First Day of School!

Robin Mellom, illus. by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. HarperCollins, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-232234-0

In the second Hannah Sparkles book, Mellom’s protagonist has first grade all figured out: “I imagined it like this: side by side with my best friend, Sunny Everbright, laughing and working.” In reality, Sunny is seated across the room, so Hannah is on her own. Talking enthusiastically about her interests and offering an unbidden hug doesn’t seem to engage the other students. When she confides in Sunny at recess, her friend suggests that she try “listening and watching” rather than talking and sharing, and time in her classroom’s “refill station” gives Hannah a moment to recenter. Brantley-Newton creates a welcoming school environment filled with cozy nooks, while the heroine exudes personality. Mellom sensitively conveys how school brings with it important, unexpected social lessons. Ages 4–8.[em] (June) [/em]