When Edgar Met Cecil
by Kevin Luthardt
32 pages; ages 4-8
Peachtree Publishers, 2013
Theme: friendship, diversity, being the new kid in school/town
Opening: "Edgar had a nice life. He loved to play ball with his best pal Quincy. On the weekends, they watched scary movies. And after school, they liked to build stuff."
Then one day Edgar's parents tell him they're moving. They go far, far away from everything Edgar has known to a strange, new town. And a strange, new school. Any kid who has moved to a new school will identify with Edgar, who observes:
"The kids looked weird. They dressed funny. They listened to bizarre music. They ate strange food." Then there's that big kid in the back, who keeps staring at Edgar. The scary kid. The one who comes up to Edgar during recess and, it turns out, is just as scared of Edgar as Edgar is of him.
Why I like this Book: This is a great book about friendship and first impressions. We've all been there: the new place - do we fit in, and those kids... they are so different from me. It's about letting go of preconceived notions and, in a subtle way, diversity. And the illustrations are so fun.
Beyond the Book: If you're moving - or just moved - to a new school/town, take time to get to know your new surroundings. Take a walk through your new neighborhood (or school) and draw a map.
Visit an ethnic restaurant you've never tried. The goal: eat something you have never tried before, like fried squid or momos or... you get the idea.
If your child feels like an "outsider", this book might open up some room to talk about ways of meeting friends. If your child is a leader of the crowd, this might be an opportunity to raise awareness of kids who want to be included in the games but are too shy to ask.
Today's review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy provided by publisher.