Mae and June and the Wonder Wheel by Charise Mericle Harper is about June who loves to play with her dog Sam, especially since she is the only one to whom the dog can talk. When her grandmother sends her a big chalkboard on a wheel, with detailed instructions on how to use it, June is thrilled, and she and Sam have a lot of fun completing the suggested tasks. It’s even more fun when a new girl moves in next door and ends up in June’s class. Mae seems really nice, but classmate April is bound and determined that Mae will be her friend. The girls have to learn to get along, and eventually Mae and June become fast friends.
This is a very positive, fun story for beginning readers. The illustrations are very helpful in showing what is going on in the story and add a lot to it. Other nice touches are June’s sometimes cranky teenage sister, the fact that Mae is a character of color without this fact taking over the story, and the adventure of the wonder wheel. This was a cute book about friendship, about pets, about family. June was a fabulous little kid, though a bit too much over the top at times. Still I liked how she stayed true to herself
Thank you NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group and HMH Books for Young Readers for the advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.