“Whoosh! Poof! Bam!” Tashjian returns with a sequel to Sticker Girl (2016).
Latina Martina Rivera and white best friend, Bev, open a new packet of magic stickers featuring Craig, their trusted cupcake companion (the only original sticker to return). He is accompanied by a new cast of characters including a sweet zombie DJ with an ear for entertaining; Eileen, a young, white soccer player; and Walter, a tutu-wearing chipmunk ballerina with a penchant for pirouettes. These and other stickers assist Martina as she reluctantly takes on the challenge of running for class president. Martina is prone to anxiety and struggles to overcome her fears (publicly and privately) through both the campaign and her continuing friendship with Bev. With nods to her Latin-American upbringing, the story respectfully portrays a close-knit family consisting of an annoying older brother, caring parents, curious toddler brother, knowing abuelita, and other extended family. The stickers become both a benefit and hindrance to Martina and her campaign as they produce campaign posters, rally the support of fellow students, and eventually secure Martina a presidential win. Wilmink’s depictions of sticker characters act as the icing on the (cup)cake that draws readers into this humorous, fast-paced, digestible story. Subtle, nonpartisan references to political campaigns and the electoral process are peppered throughout this approachable read.
Readers will want to stick with future episodes of this a-PEEL-ling and accessible series. (Fantasy. 8-12)