A girl with enthusiasm to spare has some trouble making new friends at school, just as she did with a new neighbor in her eponymous debut (2017).
The first few spreads showing Hannah with her family demonstrate that Hannah can be a bit much to take. She “hugs” the mail carrier around the neck from behind, and her glitter bomb doesn’t go over well with her grandmother, who uses a walker. Hannah has strong opinions, and she shares them, often neglecting to listen to others. This means her first day of first grade doesn’t go as she imagined. In fact, it’s pretty miserable. Then Hannah’s teacher encourages her to visit the “refill station,” where she can have some quiet time to “Sit. Think. Refill. Then come try again.” Without classmates to talk to, Hannah is forced to watch and listen, and soon she’s ready to try using those skills with her new friends. While it’s hard to swallow that Hannah shifts modes so easily, the idea of a refill station is one that readers can try on their own or with teacher help. Brantley-Newton’s hand-sketched digital illustrations keep the focus on the characters’ emotions, their faces and body language spot-on. Hannah presents white with brown hair, her class is diverse, and her teacher has light-brown skin and brown hair.
Personalities don’t usually change as quickly as Hannah’s does, but the strategy introduced that prompts it is a sound one. (Picture book. 4-8)