When Polka-dot encounters a mean girl on her first day of kindergarten, her confidence that she can fix anything is shaken.
Even armed with only some runny soap, duct tape and spotted bandages, Polka-dot’s Grandpa can fix anything. And with a kit just like his, Polka-dot heads off for her first day of school believing she can, too. But then she gets on the wrong side of Liz, a stripes-wearing girl, who feels that Polka-dot is taking the teacher’s attention away from her. The runny soap fails to clean up Polka-dot’s paint accident, and the spotted bandages fail to cheer her up at recess when Liz is still being mean to her. But the duct tape proves the handiest tool of all in rescuing Liz from some teasing and cementing the two girls’ future friendship. The classroom teacher is depressingly obtuse—she kindly reminds the girls several times about kindergarten rules but never seems to notice the hurtful things Liz is saying to Polka-dot, with the result that Polka-dot thinks she doesn’t care. Kemble’s watercolor-and–colored-pencil illustrations are best at portraying relationships and feelings. Children will recognize these kindergarteners immediately, while the air between the two girls fairly sparks.Kindergarten compassion and problem-solving rolled into one. (Picture book. 4-7)