Perfect Picture Book Friday/The New Girl…and Me

Cheerios Presents…Spoonfuls of Stories, www.Spoonfulsofstories.com. Cheerios knows that kids who grow up around books grow up to be better readers. That’s why they have given over 30 million books and counting. Bringing books and kids together. I sound like an ad don’t I? That must have come from the jacket. *yes*  So have you had your cheerios today? No, just kidding, I know we like chocolate donuts and coffee for breakfast. And that is just what I had.  Here is another one in my series from Cheerios.

The New Girl...and Me book coverTitle: The New Girl…and Me

Story by: Jacqui Robbins

With Art by: Matt Phelan

Published by: Atheneium books for young readers, an imprint of Simon and Schuster’s Cheerios Publishing Division. 2006, fiction

Themes: friendship, iguanas as pets, African-Americans, kindergarten, schools, affecting others, accepting and tolerance, belonging, common childhood experience, emotions, fitting in, getting along, helping others, kindness, making new friends, neighbors, problem solving,

Summary from jacket: “Two girls become friends when Shakeeta boasts that she has an iguana named Igabelle at home, and Mia learns how to help Shakeeta “feel at home” even when she is in school.” “Stories like this one help kids identify their own feelings and be sensitive to others.”

Resources:  “We hope parents who read this aloud to their kids will pause to point out the pictures that show emotions and ask their child to notice what the characters might feel and think, and how you can tell by their faces and bodies.” This tip is from the kids parenting expert of Kids Health, www.Kidshealth.org.  “One of the things to do is make the new families in their neighborhoods feel welcome. Let your child decorate an empty box or basket. Fill it with a snack, a list of favorite places nearby and include a neighborhood map. Add a personal note. Deliver it with a smile!” This one is from parenting expert, Donna Erickson, www.donnasday.com.  Here are some others: http://www.welcomingschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Welcoming-Schools-Lessons-A-Welcoming-Classroom.pdf and The authors own site http://www.jacquirobbins.com/newgirl.html.

Why I love it: The subject is universal. We all have been in a situation of trying to make the new kid or neighbor “feel at home.” Kids especially have this challenge more often in school. This book is a very good look at how it is to be the new kid and also the one who is trying to make her feel welcome. The art is whimsy lines with overlapping images from double page spreads. Mia, a wispy white girl, is the main character, in first person trying to make Shakeeta, a pretty African American, “feel at home.” In this cheerios story the Spanish translation is right below each sentence of English making it feel even more universal. (This could readily happen to a Hispanic child.) And it makes it easy to read in both translations. The Hispanic parent reading this can easily translate the English and vice versa.  The New Girl  also has so many themes, I was surprised. (And happily so)

For more books with resources please visit Perfect Picture Books at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog. And if you’d like to be whisked away through cyber space to the resource page and the list of more marvelous recommended perfect picture books just click on the perfect picture book badge on the right.

Do you think you will like this book? Why?

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About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
This entry was posted in blogging, Clara Bowman-Jahn, Clarike Bowman-Jahn, Course or Book Review, Perfect Picture Book Friday, social networking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Perfect Picture Book Friday/The New Girl…and Me

  1. Wow – this looks like some book, Clar! It has practically every theme on the list! 🙂 It sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I like your resources this week! Making a welcome basket for a new neighbor is such a nice idea.

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Remember when we had welcome wagons? Or just some representatives from the neighborhood meeting the new neighbor? Some traditions were worth keeping. 🙂

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  3. I could have used this book growing up, Clar. We moved frequently, and I was often “the new girl.” And I love your activities for making a new family feel welcome. We typically give new neighbors some homemade jam or preserves. Yum!

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Kristen. Poor you, being the new kid. That can be rough. I remember coming to the States and moving six times that first year and not a bit of English. grrr. Starting school six times in one year. ouch! 😦

      I think that is nice of you to welcome your new neighbors with jam. I might take that hint and use it for new neighbors here. 🙂

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  4. sandra305 says:

    Love your selections and I’ve posted your link on my FB author page as usual!

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  5. Catherine Johnson says:

    Great topic and fun animal. I bet kids love looking at the Iguana.

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Actually in the book, the main character was initially afraid of it. It looked like a dinosaur in her book. But then it worked out to be an ice breaker. 🙂

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  6. This book sounds lovely. So important for kids to realize what “the new kid” might be feeling. Thanks for sharing this!

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  7. Laura Renauld says:

    Can’t wait to read this one. Adding it to my library list!

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  8. Julie says:

    I love the Cheerios series, and this one looks fabulous!

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  9. Joanna says:

    Great bilingual and multicultural addition, Clar. As you say, topical for many of us and I love your activity recommendations!

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  10. Amy Dixon says:

    I really love the idea of making something kid-centric as a welcome to the neighborhood. I know kids are resilient, but sometimes we forget how hard it can be for them. Thanks for the great recommendation!

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  11. Margot Finke says:

    I love the illustration and the story seems just perfect. Exactly right for Perfect PB Friday – YEA.
    Thanks Clar, for introducing me to Jacqui Robbins.

    *Books for Kids – Manuscript Critiques
    http://www.margotfnke.com

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  12. Yes, because it’s in a box of Cheerios. Just kidding. We don’t have to be kid to be able to relate. Remember the first time you joined a new writing group, or stepped inside the doors of a new church, or started a new job. I can relate. And I’m moving to the United States just to get my box of Cheerios with a book inside.

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  13. Sandi says:

    Sounds like a good book to read just before a new child joins the class at school. I will keep my eyes open for it.

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  14. Lovely book choice Clar. Love the multicultural theme. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. This book has a great cover! I also like how Mia is trying to help Shakeeta feel “at home”. 🙂

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  16. Kimberley says:

    I have to get this one! We get a lot of new kids because the family homeless shelter is in our town making the reason he/she is new doubly difficult. Thanks for sharing!

    Kimberley
    First in Maine

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    • clarbojahn says:

      OH My! So your job is doubly difficult. Please get this book for them and you. It will be a help I’m sure. Look up some of the resources, too. Even without the book they will help. –good luck! 🙂

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  17. Hurray for Cheerios!!!! I love the idea of putting books into the hands of kids who don’t have them. And books that encourage children to express their emotions wins gold stars from me. 🙂 Thanks so much, Clar, for this great review….and wonderful list of activities!

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  18. I’ve never heard of the Cheerios series. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks!

    ❀Barbara❀
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

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  19. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    Another great selection.

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  20. Clara,

    What a wonderful array of great stories you have. I am amazed. I never knew Cheerio’s sponsored something like this. How wonderful to find a home for your great children’s stories. I loved your interview too. It was work getting wordpress to cooperate but I think I won.

    all the best,

    Micki

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Welcome, Micki to my blog. 🙂

      Thanks so much for the kind words and courage for besting wordpress. I haven’t been published by Cheerios and I won’t be because I’m not a first author any more. My first book got a contract from eTreasures and will be in print soon. 🙂

      So glad you could visit and leave a comment. I am deeply honored.

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  21. This sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks for sharing!

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  22. Great selection, Clar! Sounds like a sweet book. Like the Cheerios series.

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  23. Love your blog and I’m passing my Versatile Blogger Award on to you. You can find more details on my website at kidscandoit.com/blog/
    Congratulations and don’t forget to pass the award on to 15 more versatile bloggers!

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Sandra. I think this makes it about three times that I got the award. Yes, I am versatile, huh? I try and stick to Picture books but often find myself somewhere else entirely. 🙂

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