Anne's Kindred Spirits

illus. by Abigail Halpin. 72p. Tundra. May 2019. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781770499324. POP
Gr 1–3–George presents a second early reader book (after Anne Arrives) based on L.M. Montgomery's timeless tale of friendship Anne of Green Gables. Anne Shirley, a Canadian orphan, is now in the care of siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert and living at Green Gables. Anne meets a neighbor girl, Diana Barry, and the two girls immediately find each other "kindred spirits." Anne is invited to her first Sunday School picnic, but her dream of spending time with her new best friend is dashed when she is accused of stealing Marilla's family heirloom, which leads to misunderstandings and an attempted confession gone awry. George's adaptation embraces the source material and distills it into appropriate content for emergent readers. Longtime fans of the novel will enjoy Anne's flowery language and enthusiastic offerings of friendship, while new readers will commiserate as Anne's picnic opportunity is unfairly threatened. Halpin's watercolor and pencil illustrations complement the text and keep readers in the era of Anne's story with engaging simplicity.
VERDICT Early readers will enjoy a gentle introduction to a literary heroine, as well as a relatable tale about friendship.

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