What James Said by Liz Rosenberg, illustrated by Matt Myers

Published by Roaring Brook Press 

Summary:  The narrator is in a fight with her best friend James because James said that she thinks she’s perfect.  How does she know?  Because James told Aiden, who told Hunter, who told Katie, who told Dante, who told Anna, who told Emily, Anna, and Declan, who told his little sister, who told the narrator.  Now she is mad at James and won’t be friends again, even though he tries to find out what’s wrong and is extra-nice to her.  At the end of the day, there’s a big art show.  The narrator’s painting is on display.  “It’s perfect,” says James.  “That’s what I tell everyone.”  The misunderstanding is uncovered, and the narrator is so happy, she doesn’t hear the art teacher announcing her name as the winner for Best in Show.  When she finally gets her ribbon, she changes it to Best of Friends, which is what she and James are once again.  Ages 4-8.

Pros:  An entertaining look at the damaging effects of rumors and gossip.  The big, bright illustrations, decorated with children’s handprints and other artwork, complement the story perfectly.

Cons:  I think someone owes James an apology.

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