Bea Garcia learns to deal with disappointment and make the most of her artistic gifts in this first cartoon-illustrated installment of a series.
My Life in Pictures (Bea Garcia #1) by Deborah Zemke. Dial, 2016, 134 pages
Reading Level: Chapter Books, ages 4-8
Recommended for: ages 6-10
It’s bad enough when your best friend moves away to Australia, where you can’t even visit her, but when a big-burping, name-calling, mean-through-and-through monster moves into your best friend’s house next door, that’s Rottenville. Permanently. However, though Beatrice Holmes Garcia doesn’t know it until the end, she’s got something that can make all the difference in how she looks at life: her artistic talent. It may even make a friend of Monster—that is, Bert—but we needn’t go there yet because this is only Volume One.
Most kids can sympathize with Bea, losing her only friend just before school starts and having to adjust to fourth grade without Yvonne’s friendly presence. Instead, an unfriendly presence consumes her life. Learning to live with adversity is a theme winsomely presented, and the pictures will give early readers a chuckle. They’ll even pick up some geography!
Overall rating: 4 (out of 5)
- Worldview/moral value: 3.5
- Artistic value: 4
Categories: Chapter Books, Graphic Novels, Realistic Fiction, Life Issues