Second-grade Mattie exchanges a series of Valentine gifts with her “secret friend,” Jeb the class clown, who is her secret admirer. She finds a way to have someone else babysit her brother Emmett during spring vacation—and then realizes she misses him. Mattie and Jeb build a treehouse in the glorious summertime. A fun early chapter book.
t’s just Mattie’s luck to get stuck with Jeb, the second grade’s class clown, as her secret Valentine’s pal. She uses the opportunity to pay him back for his many past dirty tricks, but her own practical joke backfires. Despite a predictable ending, this first chapter will lure even reluctant readers. In the other two, Mattie sells her little brother, Emmett, and then tries to buy him back, and she gives him a haircut. Chall is adept at situational humor, but she doesn’t just play for laughs. She respects her characters; the love-hate relationship between Mattie and Emmett is convincingly developed in a few short pages. Many an older sibling will identify with Mattie’s initial relief at selling Emmett. A promising debut. (School Library Journal)
illustrator, Barbara Lehman
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1992
ages 4 and up
Look for this book at your favorite library or used bookseller.