July 2020, Clarion/HMH, 32 pp
Alfred the possum, who plays dead, and Sophia the armadillo, who rolls up in a ball, stand in for shy or anxious humans whose discomfort keeps them from fitting in. Jennifer Black Reinhardt has cast animals with defense mechanisms as characters to tell an imaginative, endearing story about learning to make friends by mastering fear and shyness. Alfred and Sofia open up to each other and go on to help other creatures who have social difficulties by practicing patience, forgiveness, and friendship—tools for overcoming the barriers that keep us from connecting with others. An author’s note lists real animals and their defensive behaviors.
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May 2017, Margaret Ferguson Books/Macmillan, 40 pp
Ethel was old. She was fat. She was black. She was white. And she was very set in her ways – until the day she turned blue. Ethel, with the help of her friend Fluffy, learns to appreciate the wonders of the world, without losing who she is in the process.
March 2016, Clarion/HMH, 40 pp
At once funny and informative, Yaks Yak presents animals acting out the verbs made from their names. Illustrations rich in comic details show hogs hogging, slugs slugging, and other spirited creatures demonstrating homographs, words with different meanings that are spelled and pronounced the same. A chart listing the words, their meanings, and their history is included. Ideal for sharing, this book offers a sprightly and fanciful introduction to a fun form of wordplay.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY – “Perfectly pitched to its audience, this clever introduction to animal-themed homographs also works as a vocabulary lesson and a catchy read-aloud.”
SHELF AWARENESS – “Yaks yak and flounders flounder in Newbery Medal author Linda Sue Park’s giddy and gloriously illustrated exploration of animal homographs.”
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL – “An original and fun way to build vocabulary.”