Monday, September 28, 2020

PLAYING POSSUM by Jennifer Black Reinhardt. New York: Clarion Books, 2020.  32p.  ISBN 978-1328782700 hc. $17.99     Gr. K-2     E PIC

If you know an anxious child or adult, give them this book.  It's about Alfred, a possum afraid of everything.  Since he froze in place when confronted with every new situation , as opossums do, he was too afraid to make friends.  One day Alfred met Sofia, an anxious armadillo who curled up into a ball upon meeting him, as armadillos do.  Once they realized they both had nervous personalities, they relaxed with each other.  They also reached out to the turtle, skunk, and porcupine, who also used protective behaviors to keep others at a distance.  With patience and kindness, Alfred and Sofia made a lot of new friends.  The Author's Note and Glossary of interesting animals at the back of the book give readers insight about why the author chose these animals to write a story about compassion.  Reinhardt also did the vivid watercolor and ink illustrations that add beauty and humor to the story.

Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

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