Peachtree. (Buddy and Bea: Bk. 3). Mar. 2024. 96p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781682635360.
Gr 1-3–In this installment, a visiting author inspires a classroom of second graders to sharpen their writing skills by exploring a subject near and dear to their hearts: their pets. With engaging prose crafted in short sentences, this illustrated chapter book is well-suited for its target audience. Emerging readers will be drawn in by the gentle humor, relatable school setting, and the cast of characters with distinct and varied personalities. Adults may appreciate the way educational content is smoothly incorporated into the upbeat plot as the children’s classroom teacher dispenses advice to help them hone their writing skills. Though it may not break new ground in its genre, this title is a solid choice for young fans of contemporary realistic fiction, with affirming themes of problem-solving, inclusion, and friendship. Energetic black-and-white illustrations complement the cheerful tone of the narrative and capture some of the book’s funniest moments to great effect. Protagonists Buddy and Bea are white presenting, with ethnic and cultural diversity represented among the supporting cast.
VERDICT This title is a welcome addition to early chapter book collections, and a surefire hit for animal lovers.

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