Reviews for Pearl and Wagner : One Funny Day

Booklist Reviews 2008 November #2
Wagner and Pearl return in three episodes taking place on April Fools Day. In the first, Wagner is duped by one joke after another. In the second, he tries to learn to dance in gym class but ends up dejected, sitting on the sidelines while Pearl struts her stuff. In the third, he creates a prank to get the last laugh on his classmates. Alley s expressive ink-and-watercolor illustrations portray Wagner s shifting emotions with clarity and finesse. McMullen shows clearly why many children have mixed feelings about April Fools Day. A brightly illustrated book in the Pearl and Wagner beginning-reader series. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2009 #2
Even youngsters unfamiliar with Pearl and Wagner (see Pearl and Wagner: Three Secrets, rev. 9/04) will know that this rabbit and mouse are pals: prefacing the book is a phone conversation where they share a corny joke that only friends would love ("Why couldn't the skeleton go to the dance?" / "He had no body to dance with"). Everybody at school seems to be clued in that it's April Fools Day except Wagner; the challenging day that follows is presented in three satisfying chapters for beginning readers. Wagner may be a little slow on the uptake, and Pearl may prefer to dance with Bud the pig than with him, but Wagner manages to get the last laugh with a great April Fools prank of his own. McMullan's easy-reader text has a reliable partner in Alley's pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations that not only help youngsters through any rough parts but also add a gentle pastel wash to the sometimes-painful schoolyard jockeying. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 February #2
Poor Wagner--he is having a rough day. First, it's April Fools' Day and he is never sure whether people are fooling or telling the truth. Then, his best buddy Pearl chooses a different classmate to dance with at recess, leaving Wagner trying and failing to feel the beat. But finally, he turns his day around with a little April Foolery of his own. Controlled vocabulary, ample white space and familiar school setting add up to a treat for new readers who will recognize a little of themselves in sad-sack Wagner--and the joy he feels when he finally turns the tables on a bad day. Alley's expressive animal faces are just right: Wagner's wide mouse eyes tell every emotion and Pearl's rabbit ears droop and straighten with her moods, giving new readers many visual cues that will help with decoding and enjoyment. Kids who love listening to Kevin Henkes's books about Lily and her friends will enjoy reading this one themselves. (Early reader. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 March

Gr 1-3--In this delightful addition to a solid series, fluent beginning readers will identify with Wagner's April Fools' Day of frustration and satisfaction. In the first chapter, the mouse is fooled by his friend Pearl, his teacher, the librarian, and the cafeteria menu. Then he hopes that the announcement of a math test is another trick, only to discover that "It's for real." Next, Mr. Jumper holds a dance contest during a rainy recess in the gym. Pearl dazzles everyone with her jitterbug and Lulu hip-hops with some "smooth moves," but when Wagner boogies down he falls on his behind. In the third chapter, Wagner asks to visit the school nurse. He returns to class covered with green spots and announces that he has "a bad case of bug pox" and that it's catching. After several loud sneezes, he exclaims, "Ah...ah...ah...April fools!" McMullan's exquisitely crafted story has an endearing blend of humor, humiliation, friendship, and familiar school scenarios. Done in pen and ink, watercolor, and colored pencil, Alley's distinguished illustrations feature a variety of expressive animal characters whose kinesthetic expressions cheerfully depict many of the happenings.--Laura Scott, Farmington Community Library, MI

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