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Bookmarks Are People Too! #1 (Here's Hank) Hardcover – February 6, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Set two years before the first Hank Zipzer books (Penguin), this prequel tells the story of how Frankie, Ashley, and Hank came to be friends and introduces readers to Hank's family, neighbors, and classmates. As in the original series, Hank's impulsiveness, disorganization, and penchant for jokes get him into hot water. Only in the second grade, his learning difficulties have not yet been diagnosed, and he struggles with feeling like his brain is full of "soggy oatmeal." The book is set in a typeface Hank would appreciate: it was specifically designed to help readers with dyslexia differentiate letters. The plot and tone, as well as the short sentences, brief chapters, wide margins, and frequent spot art are typical of other early chapter book series. Give this to readers who enjoy the "Horrible Harry" and "George Brown, Class Clown" (both, Penguin) series.—Sarah Stone, San Francisco Public Library
This new Hank Zipzer series is a prequel, placing our old pal Hank in the second grade. Hank, who has a bit of trouble focusing and a lot of trouble reading and memorizing, learns that his class will perform a play for their parents. Despite help from friends Frankie and Ashley, Hank fails the audition, losing out to tough classmate Nick. Ms. Flowers, Hank’s teacher, recognizes that he tried, and she rewards him with a special nonspeaking part: a bookmark. Teased by Nick, Hank learns to buffer the negativity with humor. In the end, Hank embraces his role, and when the play is presented, guess who saves the day? This first installment in a promising series presents children’s unfiltered observations and captures the personalities and perspectives of second-graders. It is filled with laugh lines based on literal understanding and use of language. An added bonus is the Dyslexie font, which was created for persons with dyslexia but helps many other young readers in distinguishing letters and words, too. Grades 1-3. --Jeanne Fredriksen
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