Izzy in the Doghouse

Kids Can. (Izzy: Bk. 1). Oct. 2020. 168p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781771387323.
Gr 1-3–Izzy, an exuberant white girl with a straight dark bob, can sometimes be a bit much; fans of Adderson’s “Jasper John Dooley” series will recall her unrestrained personality from book three. When Izzy gets her favorite friend in trouble at recess (again), Zoë, an equally goofy but more rule-abiding Black girl with two puffs, decides to take a couple days off from being Izzy’s bestie. In heavily illustrated pages with comfortable leading, Adderson’s spin-off opener follows Izzy as she struggles to wait for her friend’s anticipated forgiveness. During Izzy and Zoë’s fallow period, Adderson highlights other social-emotional concepts, addressing both adoption—Izzy and her mother openly discuss how they came together—and the responsibilities of pet ownership with specificity and warmth. Izzy’s underrepresented family structure includes her working single mother, her indispensable nanny, and a new puppy! Rosa, the Latinx caregiver, receives the least development beyond her attachment to a daily telenovela, but Adderson does include nods to her life outside of Izzy’s home. Rollo the dog, a bit player in Adderson’s other series, gets his origin story here as a labor-intensive recipient of Izzy’s considerable energy and unfiltered affections; the girl happily connects her enthusiasm for the new puppy to her mother’s experience adopting her.
VERDICT A big-hearted series spin-off that stands (and yips) alone.

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