Jasper, an early-elementary student, is finally Star of the Week, but his enthusiastic expectations may exceed the reality of all that accompanies the treasured position.
Jasper’s best friend Ori has a new baby sister. Jasper thinks of her as "purple" because of the color of her face, since all she does is wail. Ori, who likes to begin sentences with “The thing is…,” is exhausted by the screaming-baby problem at his house. Still, Jasper—an only child—is a little jealous. Plum may be noisy, but she is more interesting than Earl, the wooden sibling Jasper builds, which he brings to school and imaginatively substitutes for a science experiment he forgot to create. His classmates are a bit nonplussed by his special Star of the Week show-and-tell item: A lint collection that includes the very rare father’s-belly-button stuff he likes to harvest. Lots of believable dialogue enhances the brief, large-print presentation. Written for those who have just transitioned to chapter books, this series opener includes simple yet attractive black-and-white illustrations every few pages. Nothing major happens, but Jasper’s day-to-day concerns are charming and funny.
Readers will identify with many of Jasper’s comical, age-appropriate issues as he navigates the sometimes confusing complications of early primary school. (Fiction. 5-8)