Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker – Shelley Johannes

Some girls are happy wearing pink dresses with ruffles. Others are ninjas who climb trees and are cofounders of top-secret organisations. Beatrice Zinker definitely isn’t a fan of pink dresses with ruffles.

Beatrice is a middle child. Her older sister, Kate, is just like her Mum. Her younger brother, Henry, is just like her Dad. Beatrice does all of her best thinking upside down and finds it difficult being the only upside down daughter in a right side up family. Even Oliver, the Zinker’s cat, is right side up!

Beatrice meets her friend Lenny on Halloween night in first grade. They were alike and enjoyed playing pirates, ninjas, zombies and knights. Beatrice is now starting third grade at William Charles Elementary and is ready to start Operation Upside with Lenny, a plan Beatrice has been working on all summer.

Everything changes for Beatrice when Lenny walks into the first day of third grade, not wearing her ninja suit, but pink! With sparkles, no less! And Lenny’s made a new friend! Is Operation Upside doomed for failure before it even begins?

This is such a heartwarming story. You feel better about yourself and the world after you finish reading it. Beatrice teaches us the importance of being yourself. She learns that you can turn a confusing day into a good one if you look at it the right way and that there are always things you can do to make a bad day better.

There are plenty of adorable illustrations that add to the story and bring Beatrice’s upside down thinking to life. The quirkiness of the illustrations remind me of Quentin Blake’s illustrations in Roald Dahl’s children’s books.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Hachette Children’s Books, Australia for the opportunity to read this book. Beatrice is funny and spunky, and is soon to make friends with young girls all over the world. She will resonate with so many girls that feel different and she’ll teach them that their differences are special and deserve to be celebrated. I can’t wait until the second Beatrice Zinker book is released!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Beatrice does her best thinking upside down.

Hanging from trees by her knees, doing handstands . . . 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?

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