Friday, May 11, 2018

Best buds under frogs by Leslie Patricelli

Leslie Patricelli, known for her hilarious board books and picture books, steps into the chapter book world with a brand new series: The Rizzlerunk Club.

Lily is attending a new school and she's super shy. What's even worse? First day nerves make her throw up. So much for ever making friends! The cool girls immediately ignore and laugh at her - and so does weird Darby. Darby just won't leave Lily alone and at first Lily can't stand her, but slowly they start to understand each other and become the founders of the Rizzlerunk Club, best buds under frogs, together forever.

At least, they were. Then Darby's old friend, Jill, reappears from England. Jill is exciting and has wild ideas - but she's also mean. Worst of all, Darby, free-spirited, don't-care-what-anyone-thinks Darby, does whatever Jill wants! If Lily wants her friend back, she'll have to make some hard decisions and find out whether or not she can stand up for Darby - and herself.

There is a LOT of friend drama crammed into these 270+ pages. Lily's family is supportive, but lets her make decisions on her own, appropriate to a fourth grader. Darby's family is a little harder to swallow and her sudden changes in character - going from not caring what anybody else thinks to following Jill's dangerous and mean ideas without thinking - may seem unrealistic, but anyone who has been around nine year old girls will just sigh and nod their heads. One minute their engaging in high school-like cliques, the next they're catching frogs. Yup.

Verdict: This is funny, engaging, and relatable. It will make readers laugh and maybe reconsider some of their own friendships. But... will it find readers? It feels young, aimed at third and fourth graders. At nearly 300 pages though, even with cartoons and fairly large text, it's going to daunt most young readers. Still, fluent readers will have no problems with it. I recommend this to fans of Ivy + Bean and Julie Bowe.

ISBN: 9780763651046; Published February 2018 by Candlewick; Borrowed from another library in my consortium


Jen Robinson said...

I'm going to put this on my daughter's list. She just turned 8 and loved Leslie Patricelli's board books.

Jennifer said...

Great! Tell me what she thinks!