STAR OF THE WEEK by Barney Saltzberg


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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Stanley, Saltzberg’s plucky hamster from Crazy Hair Day (2003) fame, returns to cope with the perils of performance anxiety and other grade-school angst in this wryly comical tale. Absolutely thrilled to share his favorite foods, toys and activities with his classmates, Stanley eagerly anticipates his turn as “Star of the Week.” To his utter dismay, Stanley’s tofu-bologna-cream-cheese-jelly-pumpernickel sandwiches are a sad flop, as is his unintentionally self-destructing robot. With his bubble of joy burst, Stanley lacks the courage to share his love of artistry with the class. However, when his bossy nemesis Polly mocks his squiggle drawing, Stanley rises to the challenge. Saltzberg adroitly addresses a common school-age scenario with compassion and also a hearty dose of panache. His droll, ink and acrylic full-color drawings are fabulously expressive, neatly capturing Stanley’s ever-fluctuating emotions. While readers can identify with Stanley’s plight, Saltzberg gives them a little comic relief from the emotional turmoil involved with growing pains of the social sort. Stanley is truly the champion of the underdog—or hamster, as the case may be. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-7636-2914-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2006


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