Review Detail

Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
3.0

Friends stand up to a bully

In this sequel to The Midnight Meeting, we rejoin Bismark the sugar glider, Tobin the pangolin and Dawn the fox. Bismark is waiting for his friends, who are late to arrive, and plans to lead them on an exciting nocturnal adventure. The plan runs into trouble when the group runs into a snake and Bismark, who has spent a lot of time claiming to be brave, is very afraid. He thinks the snake is going to eat him, and he is probably right! If the friends band together, will they be able to make the snake bully turn tail?

Good Points
This beginning reader does a good job of addressing the idea of being afraid and being brave, which are not necessarily the same thing! Bismark always talks a good game, but needs his friends know what he is like, and like him no matter what. The message that bullies may be easily defeated is an interesting one, but probably depends a lot on the bully.

The illustrations have a charming folk art-like quality that may appeal to fans of animal picture books. Because the events all take place at night, the palette is an unusual teal-based one that is quite attractive.

There are a lot of facts about the animals mentioned as well as tidbits about other things mentioned in the book that add to the educational value. This series also has a middle grade chapter book version, but the Grow and Read books are a level two.
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