Saturday, November 17, 2018

Review - We Don't Eat Our Classmates

We Don't Eat Our Classmates (Penelope #1)
by Ryan T. Higgins
Date: 2018
Publisher: Disney Book Group
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 48
Format: e-book
Source: library

It's the first day of school for Penelope Rex, and she can't wait to meet her classmates. But it's hard to make human friends when they're so darn delicious! That is, until Penelope gets a taste of her own medicine and finds she may not be at the top of the food chain after all....

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This book is way too cute. It teaches compassion and empathy in a gentle, funny way.

Penelope really wants to make friends in kindergarten, but she just can't stop herself from eating her classmates. (Fortunately, "eating" them consists mainly of putting them in her mouth. Aside from ending up slobbery, the kids are physically unharmed.) Then all the kids become afraid of her, and she's left with nobody but the class goldfish, Walter, for company. And let's just say that Walter has issues of his own...

The illustrations are really adorable. Penelope likes ponies (because they're delicious), so we see that reflected in her backpack, lunchbox, and bedding. Her room is pretty cute, too; instead of human dolls, she has dinosaur dollies (of course). And I like how diverse her class is, with kids of different ethnicities and religions represented. I guess if you've got a T. rex thrown in there as well, the class can't help but be diverse.

This book has a great message about putting yourself in other people's shoes. Penelope finally sees her eating habits from the opposite side, and she realizes that what she was doing wasn't so pleasant (at least, not for the kids being eaten). She still gets the urge to eat her classmates from time to time--she is a T. rex, after all--but the lesson sticks with her, and she remembers how being on the "eaten" side feels.

There's just enough goofiness in the story to make it amusing, while still imparting an important message. I really enjoyed this book, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 5/5
Originality: 5/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.67 out of 5

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