Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Perfectly Poppy: Party Pooper by Michele Jakubowski, illustrated by Erica-Jane Waters

I don't normally review this type of "lesson" book, but I've liked some of the other things Jakubowski has done and this is actually quite good, although I do have some reservations.

Each of these books features Poppy learning some kind of life lesson. In this one, she attends a party with her best friend Millie. Millie's favorite part of the party is games, Poppy's is the food. Poppy can't wait to try a s'more for the first time, but when her mom is busy and not watching she eats a lot of junk food, against Millie's better judgment. She starts to realize her error when she tries to play games and feels sick, and eventually admits that she shouldn't have eaten all the junk food. She decides not to have a s'more in the end, but she has had a good day and learned a lesson.

There are three chapters in the book and it ends with a list of vocabulary "Poppy's new words" and questions for further reflection "Poppy's Ponders". There's also instructions for playing kick the can.

The pictures are cute and colorful. Poppy's best friend, Millie, is black and the children in the background seem to be fairly diverse, although they're not clear enough to really tell. The text isn't quite at the level of a beginning chapter book, but more complex than a beginning easy reader. It's one I'd put in my intermediate easy readers and recommend to the average 1st grade reader. There is a typo on page 26, where Millie's name is used instead of Poppy. The writing is quite good for this type of easy reader and it manages to get quite a bit of story in around the lesson and some little jokes. Parents and teachers will eat up the themed/lesson aspect and the pink aspect will attract a lot of little girls to read this series.

Verdict: The main drawback of this book is the price - either paperback or library bound at $17. That's way more than I'm generally willing to pay for an easy reader. If you have the budget and want some additional titles for your easy reader section, I'd recommend this, but even though I'm always looking for easy readers I just can't swallow the price so I'll probably pass on this one.

ISBN: 9781479522828; Published 2014 by Picture Window Books/Capstone; Borrowed from another library in my consortium


Nancy Boone said...

I wonder where you are ordering from? I just ordered these for my school library and saw that Follett ( has the paperbacks for $5.95 each, hardcover for $16.04.

Jennifer said...

Oops, guess I should say that more clearly - I didn't mean the paperback was $17! I think I just rounded up. Anyways, the point is that I usually expect to spend $10-12 on a hardcover easy reader, so I'm not sure this is worth the extra $4.

Jennifer said...

Checked again - I order from Baker and Taylor and the library bound/hardcover is $17.06

Nancy Boone said...

Oh whew, I couldn't imagine a paperback being that expensive! Because I need A LOT of easy readers, I often buy them in paperback to save money. If it's a popular title, I'll cover it with an adhesive cover from Kapco so it will hold up longer. I did order the Perfectly Poppy in hardcover because it fits a need in my library, so I wasn't really paying attention to the price. :)

Jennifer said...

Huh, B&T paperbacks are actually cheaper - $3.45. Anyways, yeah, I never have enough easy readers but the paperbacks simply couldn't hold up to the use, even with covers - and our processor pointed out (a bit grumpily) that with the cost of the cover I might as well buy a hardcover to start with!