Sophie is a dreamer and loves to paint. She's excited about going back to school and seeing all her old friends. But when a new pupil shows up she gets a shock - it's a snake! Are they safe to be around? Can he play with them? The other kids think snakes are scary, is Sophie brave enough to ask him to play with them? After some wise advice from her parents and some fortunate meetings with new neighbors, Sophie finds the answer to all her questions and gets a new friend!
Bell's illustrations show an adorable cast of anthropomorphic small creatures with the tiny details that will definitely intrigue readers; little baskets, plentiful use of acorns, and large flowers.
There are lots of cute names, adorable food (nutmeg popovers) and a simple but sweet message about giving new/different kids a chance to be friends. The text would be great for a beginning chapter reader with the illustrations keeping it from being overwhelming and the slightly larger text is reader-friendly.
Verdict: If cute puts you off, you might still want to give this a chance. It's adorable but never quite twee and a solid addition to a beginning chapter series. Fans of Daisy Dawson, Critter Club, and some of the cuter Branches series will enjoy this cozy tale.
ISBN: 9781481428330; Published 2015 by Little Simon/Simon and Schuster; Borrowed from another library in my consortium