We have all experienced the new kid. Sometimes we are the new kid (like me in the sixth grade), and sometimes we are the kids in the class when the new kid comes. Out May 1 from Sterling, Albie Newton is a great new children’s picture book that addresses the new kid.
Written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Ester Garay, this book shares the story of Albie, who is absolutely amazing at everything. He impresses his new classmates with his poetry and science skills, but he is not the best at sharing or asking for materials or communicating in any fashion, really. It is not until his new classmates realize that his intentions are good that they begin to appreciate Albie for who he is.
The book flows well and will make a great read aloud text. I appreciate the way Funk does not name exactly what Albie has or does not have (which gives the book a universality) but rather urges readers to consider people’s differences from their perspective. I like how the students – sans parent or teacher intervention – make the decision to accept Albie for who he is. Garay’s digital illustrations portray a diverse classroom, and I especially enjoy her characters’ quirky expressions.
A new read with an important message, Albie Newton will make a wonderful addition to your bookshelf. It will make a great read at the beginning of the school year … and every day thereafter!
Albie Newton earns four stars.