Bookmarks Are People Too!
Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, illus. by Scott Garrett. Grosset & Dunlap, $14.99
The authors of the Hank Zipzer books spotlight their hero as a second grader in this first installment of the Here’s Hank chapter-book series, in which Hank faces his learning disabilities with honesty, tenacity, and humor. When Hank’s teacher instructs her students to read the script for the upcoming class play, Hank worries that he won’t be up to that task or memorizing lines. Though his best friend Frankie helps him prepare, Hank’s audition for the role of comic-book superhero Aqua Fly is a disaster: he can’t recognize any of the words and resorts to buzzing (“I am saying the lines,” he tells Ms. Flowers. “I’m just doing it in fly language”). Worse, Hank’s nemesis lands the part, but Ms. Flowers creates a new character for Hank—a bookmark—which Hank uses to save the play. Amusing dialogue and a typeface designed to accommodate dyslexic readers adroitly target kids with reading difficulties of their own. Garrett’s cheery b&w cartoons bring additional energy to the story, matching that of Hank himself. Due simultaneously: A Short Tale About a Long Dog. Ages 6–8. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/02/2013