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“A book is like a milkshake: If you don’t like one flavor, try a different one,” Polly. –Polly Diamond and the Super Stunning Spectacular School Fair
Polly Diamond and the Super Stunning Spectacular School Fair
Polly Diamond #2
by Alice Kuipers
Polly and her magic book, Spell, have all kinds of adventures together because whatever Polly writes in Spell comes true! But when Polly and Spell join forces to make the school fair super spectacular, they quickly discover that what you write and what you mean are not always the same.
Polly Diamond focuses on a spunky protagonist who loves to learn new words. When a new word is introduced, the text explains the definition as well as a word’s multiple meanings. The story also briefly explains syllables, alliterations, adjectives, similes, puns, and palindromes. While Polly gives examples of each type of word, readers will most likely not remember all the lessons because they are not reinforced throughout the story. However, with an adult’s help, Polly Diamond and the Super Stunning Spectacular School Fair would be a great educational tool.
Polly Diamond’s format will appeal to beginning readers. The text is broken up with cute black and white illustrations that appear on every page. Occasionally, Polly includes a list. For example, after Polly’s classmate Shaylene is introduced, Polly writes “a list of annoying things about Shaylene.” Another positive aspect of the book is the use of alliteration and onomatopoeias that make reading the story aloud fun. In addition, the back of the book has a two-page list of books that readers might enjoy.
To add silliness to the story, Polly writes her wishes in her magic book, Spell. Often, Spell comes up with an unexpected interpretation of Polly’s requests. In this story, the students begin turning into different creatures such as dragons and fairies. This creates a bit of chaos that will leave readers smiling. However, some readers might feel overwhelmed because the story’s plot crams in too many words and too many events.
Polly Diamond and the Super Stunning Spectacular School Fair is a fun book that has many positive attributes. Polly Diamond’s two parent family is portrayed in a positive light. The book introduces new words and will make readers think about how their words can be misinterpreted. Polly Diamond and the Super Stunning Spectacular School Fair will appeal to many readers because it includes a magical book, a funny Sploosh Monster, and a spunky protagonist. If you’re looking for another educational book, the Yasmin Series by Saadia Faruqi explores different topics such as being a superhero, being a writer, and being an explorer.
- One of the students turns into a squirrel. When the squirrel sees Polly, she throws a nut at her.
- Spell creates a “splashy, splooshy Puddle Monster…It is HUGE!” Polly tries to get rid of the monster. “I throw myself forward and try to vanquish it. The puddle screams and splooshes away down the block.”
- A Puddle Monster shows up at the school. Polly tries to vanquish it again. “I swipe my shiny dictionary from the pile. I swoosh it around my head. . . The Puddle Monster screams and runs away.”
Drugs and Alcohol
- Polly Diamond has a magic book. Everything Polly writes in her book comes true. For example, “If I wrote Anna is a muffin in Spell, then, POP!, Anna would turn into a muffin!”
- At the school book fair, Polly uses Spell to create fun. Below are some examples. Not all of the magic is listed below.
- Polly asks Spell to make a Pop-Open-A-Book-Corn stall. The principal, “Mr. Love, picks up a book and opens it. As he opens the pages, out pops lots and lots of popcorn! Pop. Pop. Pop!”
- A student paints a fairy on Polly’s sister’s cheek. “The fairy from my sister’s cheek zings to life.” The student then paints “more little fairies, and they all zip and spark to life and fly around Anna’s head.”
- The students begin turning into different creatures based on what they have painted on their faces. For example, Polly’s sister “begins to glow. Anna is turning into a fairy!” A boy starts to glow and then “the scales painted on his face start to glow. . . [He] is turning into a green dragon. . . with TWO HEADS!” Another student turns into a squirrel.