cover image Extra Ezra Makes an Extra-Special Friend

Extra Ezra Makes an Extra-Special Friend

Kara LaReau, illus. by Vincent X. Kirsch. HarperCollins, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-296565-3

Ezra “adds dazzle to everything he does,” LaReau writes, as Kirsch’s crisp multimedia cartoons show Ezra bringing a glitter-festooned, over-the-top joie de vivre to home and school. Everyone seems to love it—except new girl Jane, whose bright accessories draw Ezra’s notice. But Jane ignores Ezra’s constant attentions, and when he blithely bursts into song after she divulges a source of malaise, she loses it: “Please go away, Ezra!” Crushed, Ezra gets some good advice from Mama (“When you want to be someone’s friend, you need to listen to what they want”), and learns that he can dial back the entertainment, up the empathy, and even be quiet when asked. The creators push their comic exaggeration almost to the breaking point—Ezra is more old-school Las Vegas showman than elementary schooler—but ebullient readers struggling with being mindful of others and true to their always-on selves should find reassurance in this friendship story. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)