With the school carnival approaching, why isn’t Spork excited about it?
Galaxy Scout Spork has been learning about Earth and earthlings in Mrs. Buckle’s third-grade class for a while now. In this volume, the rest of the class is focused on planning the school carnival, but Spork seems a bit reticent. When Mrs. Buckle brings kindness into the discussion, Trixie Lopez wants to prove “she could be the kindest kid in the whole third grade,” but it’s not so easy. Thinking Spork is homesick, she proposes a space theme for the carnival, but far from making him happy, it seems to worry him. Will Trixie find a way to be kind? And what is bothering Spork? This kindness-themed entry in the How to Be an Earthling series, which focuses on character traits, is a bit convoluted; simultaneously released volumes Alien in the Outfield, by Lori Haskins Houran (perseverance), May the Votes Be with You, by Harkrader (citizenship), and Money Doesn’t Grow on Mars, by Houran (self-control) integrate their lessons a bit more seamlessly. However, readers new to chapters likely won’t notice and will identify with the ethnically diverse denizens of Mrs. Buckle’s class. Series illustrator Warrick contributes many black-and-white cartoon illustrations of wide-eyed, expressive kids with different skin tones; Trixie has medium-brown skin, and Mrs. Buckle is black. Activities in the backmatter round out the lessons.
An amiable continuation of the series. (Science fiction. 5-8)