Title: The Adventures of Sophie Mouse: A New Friend
Author: Poppy Green
Illustrator: Jennifer A. Bell
Publisher: Little Simon
Summary: Sophie and her meadow friends are excited about the first day of school until they meet the new student. No one wants to play with Owen Snake. They all have stories to tell about snakes, none of them good. Then Sophie sees Owen sitting alone at recess and looking sad at the end of the day when his mother picks him up. She asks her parents about snakes when she gets home and finds out that they once had a very good friend who was a snake when they were young, but she moved away. They told Sophie things about snakes that she didn’t know. She vowed to be nicer to Owen the next day at school, but Owen never came back to school. Then one day while she was collecting buttercups with her friend Hattie, Sophie fell into a deep hole and couldn’t get out. Owen hear her calling and came to help her out. She apologized for treating him so badly. As it turns out, Owen’s mother was the same snake her parents were good friends with when they were young. Owen returned to school, and the other students had a change of heart when they saw Hattie and Sophie playing with him at recess.
Literary Merit: Easy to read chapters with pictures supporting the story on every page.
Kid Appeal: Friendship. Accepting differences. Childlike fears about someone new and different. Innocent misunderstandings.
Disclaimer: This book was nominated for the 2015 CYBILS Award in the Early Chapter Book category. This review is shared as part of the Round One Judging. It is solely my own opinion and not influenced by any other parties.