Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nikki & Deja Karen English Laura Freeman

Nikki & Deja by Karen English illus by Laura Freeman This is the first book in the early chapter series starring best friends Nikki and Deja. I really like this series. I reviewed the second book Nikki & Deja Birthday Blues earlier in the year. In this first book English introduces us to Nikki & Deja, we learn little things like their favorite color and what they do on Saturday mornings. I think these little everyday things are important especially for a book series, it allows the reader to feel more connected to the characters. Antonia a new girl moves next door, and she's not very nice. Nikki and Deja decide to form a drill team and not include Antonia. Four girls tryout and everyone is happy except Nikki, who can't dance. Deja's and Nikki get into a fight and don't talk for a few days. Nikki begins a new club with Antonia. English has given adults a great way to open up a conversation with young readers about cliquish clubs and what it means to exclude others for no reason. English's writing is very good, she does a great job of hitting her target audience. One scene I loved is when Nikki & Deja run into their teacher at the supermarket. They are shocked to she her out of the classroom and decide to follow her. Laura Freeman's illustrations though sparse are very good. She expresses a lot of emotion in the characters eyes. It looks like pencil though I am not sure. Freeman easily incorporates a diverse group of kids when drawing Nikki & Deja's classmates. This book is now available in paperback
Ages 7 up


Lori Calabrese said...

I love the bright colors in the cover--looks a cute book!

All the best,

Mary Ann Scheuer said...

I really enjoy this series too - I'm so glad you wrote about it. Have you heard from kids who have read it yet? I think it's perfect for 7 year olds, but haven't had any grab it. Thanks, as always, for your great reviews!