Book Review: Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes is a children's chapter book all about Beatrice, who does her best thinking upsidedown. Hanging from trees by her knees, doing handstands, what ever. For Beatrice Zinker, upside down works every time. She was definitely upside down when she and her best friend, Lenny, agreed to wear matching ninja suits on the first day of third grade. But when Beatrice shows up at school dressed in black, Lenny arrives with a cool new outfit and a cool new friend. Even worse, she seems to have forgotten all about the top-secret operation they planned! Can Beatrice use her topsy-turvy way of thinking to save the mission, mend their friendship, and flip things sunny-side up?

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker is a fun and relatable book for readers that think differently than those around her. I love that Beatrice is herself, even when she knows that it makes her different. While she does try to curb her impulses to fit the rules of teachers and family, she is still very much her own person. Adding the idea of friends changing and growing, and that we can like more than one kind of play or friendship is important. Kids change so much from year to year, and making it clear that it is normal and okay to change and alright to keep on being the same if that is what is right for you, is extremely important. The story is funny, sweet, and will speak to many children and adults that have never quite fit in the box that others have built for them.

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker is a wonderful children's book that will be a great conversation starter about how people and friendships can change, and how being yourself is always the answer- although accepting others for who they are and become is equally important. I think this would be a great addition to school libraries, and I am putting it on my own wish list for my school.
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