Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker #2: Incognito – Shelley Johannes

Operation Upside has only just begun and Beatrice has made a big mistake. She secretly awards her teacher a certificate and Mrs Tamarack can’t see the compliment in her ‘Most Strict’ award. Now there’s a Wanted sign hanging in Beatrice’s classroom and if Beatrice is going to avoid detection then she’s going to have to go incognito, which for Beatrice can only mean wearing pink instead of her usual ninja attire.

Flying high was so much easier than lying low.

When incognito Beatrice tries to give helpful Wes an award it winds up in the wrong hands. If Operation Upside is ever going to be successful Beatrice is going to need her thinking cap and a window of opportunity to fix her mistakes and keep herself out of trouble.

I love Beatrice’s irrepressible nature. She’s adorable and while she only wants to make people smile her impulsivity and enthusiasm means that she is incapable of flying below the radar. The quirky illustrations add to the fun of reading this series.

I really liked the inclusion of Sam in this book. Her downcast demeanour, reluctance to speak to her classmates and interest in Morse code added some intrigue to this otherwise lighthearted book and I kept wondering what her backstory was. I would have loved it if Beatrice had wanted to include Sam for any other reason than wanting something from her and her motivation dimmed some of Beatrice’s sparkle for me, but at least they still became friends.

This is a series that I love as an adult and I’m certain I also would have loved it as a kid. I’d recommend reading Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker first to get the background on the main characters, how Operation Upside began and why all of these elementary school girls are playing Veterinary Clinic at recess.

I wish the Morse code alphabet was included at the end of this book. Kid me would have written secret messages to friends in Morse code as soon as I’d finished reading so I would have found it helpful.

I definitely need another Beatrice book and I want to know more about Sam!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

In book two of the Beatrice Zinker series, Operation Upside is finally in full swing! But when Beatrice’s over-enthusiasm lands Mrs. Tamarack with a Strictest Certificate, the team has to scale back a bit.

Lying low is not exactly Beatrice’s strong suit, especially when she sees someone who desperately needs to be recognised. But when the certificate meant for him falls into the wrong hands, Beatrice and Lenny have to find a way to widen their circle once again to save Operation Upside, and themselves, from trouble.

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?