Supershy fourth-grader Lily Lattuga (Italian for “lettuce”) just wants to blend in at her new school, but on the first day, she throws up on a popular girl’s shoes!
Then it gets worse: her new classmates start quacking at her after her repeated attempts to pronounce “Kwakiutl” in a list of Northwest Native American tribes—she never gets past the first syllable (an unfortunate joke)—and she gets on the wrong bus. Lucky for Lily, unselfconscious Darby Dorski extends the hand of friendship. The girls bond over their love of frogs, and the Rizzlerunk Club is born. The book’s title comes from the club’s pledge, which concludes “best buds, under frogs, with loyalty and honesty for all.” When Darby’s best friend, Jill, returns from London, loyalty and honesty are put to the test. Lily worries she’ll lose the only friend she has, and Jill is a lying troublemaker who gets Lily and Darby into one scrape after another, throwing the girls under the bus while weaseling her way out of punishment. Lily attempts to shave her unibrow after Jill makes fun of it, only to end up with a finger superglued to her forehead. Everyone appears to be white except for one classmate with a Spanish name. Lily loves to draw, and her first-person narration is livened up with her humorous line drawings reflecting her thoughts and feelings.
This first full-length narrative, a series opener, from board-book creator Patricelli (Hair, 2017, etc.) is a no-frills, funny story about friendship. (Fiction. 7-11)