Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Deborah Zemke
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Bea Garcia needs a new best friend since hers moved far away to Australia. The smartest girl in her class, Einstein, asks her to be her partner in the Top Ten Geography Star contest. The two of them get together and Einstein assigns Bea 257 facts to learn before the next day. Bea is worried she won’t be able to remember them all. She looks over at Einstein and sees that only right answers come out of her pencil. Bea takes Einstein’s pencil home but discovers that, instead of writing, Bea cannot help but draw the answers. She realizes that everyone has their own way of learning, and hers is through drawing.
A strength of this book is that it uses pictures as a way of explaining the story and showing the characters’ emotions. Through the illustrations, the reader can understand what is going on in Bea’s mind and how she views the world. The book is encouraging to readers, especially elementary-age students, because the struggles that Bea faces are relatable to all young students. The author shows how children can rely on self-expression through art and humor when life does not go as planned and teaches the reader that everyone is successful in their own unique way.