Friday, January 8, 2016

Dory and the Real True Friend by Abby Hanlon

I was ambivalent about the first Dory Fantasmagory book, but this one I really, really liked. Normally I don't often read sequels and I certainly wouldn't have picked this up, but as it was nominated for Cybils I read it and I liked it. Really liked it.

Dory is ready for her first day of school....maybe. Her imaginary friends have lots of advice and so do Dory's older brother and sister. Dory tries to follow everyone's advice, but she's still, well, Dory and at first things don't go so well. But then she meets a friend; a real, true friend! She's a princess and lives in a castle...her siblings are sure it's just another imaginary friend but what if she's not....?

Hanlon's art perfectly captures Dory, in all of her too-small, mismatched clothes, mischievous smile, inability to sit still, and crazy imagination. She's the kid that every teacher groans a little bit when she comes in but can't help liking. She's the awkward kid who really wants friends but doesn't quite fit in with the other kids. I just laughed and sighed over Dory's determination to be friends with the elegant Rosabelle, who at first seems to be a totally opposite character....but then they turn out to have a lot in common.

Verdict: Kids and parents alike will see themselves and their kids in this story, enjoy Dory's wild adventures, and maybe take a second look at potential friends in their classroom. Recommended.

ISBN: 9780525428664; Published 2015 by Dial/Penguin; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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