In Kane and Davis’ (The New Friend, 2016) second collaboration, play-date queen Ginger Green invites an unconventional friend over, and she has regrets immediately.
Seven-year-old fox Ginger takes great pride in her play-date setups, and she is excited for the next one with classmate Maisy. Almost immediately, though, Ginger is on the back foot as Maisy gets up to some unexpected antics: overexcited doorbell-ringing, enthusiastic nudity, and reckless roof-climbing chief among them. Ginger (not to mention her mother) is flummoxed at first but soon becomes angry—not the best mood for a play date. After Maisy returns to the ground and both have had some soothing lemonade, the girls do a few handstands and flips, and Ginger remembers that she loves her friend precisely because she always does the unexpected. Adding a dash of drama and danger to the social dilemma of playing hostess the series explores, this chapter book navigates the complex maze of developing friendships and the negotiation of compatibility. Uncluttered, grayscale illustrations provide cues without becoming distracting for new readers. That said, readers turned off by discriminatory terms such as “crazy” (used sparingly but significantly here) or notions that difference is linked to danger may want to try a different installment of the series.
Sweet, fun, and a little flawed. (Chapter book. 6-8)