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Author: Diane deGroat

Illustrator: Diane deGroat

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Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers,

Material: hard cover

Summary: It is April Fools Day, and Gilbert is looking forward to playing tricks on his friends. Unfortunately, he’s the one getting tricked by everyone else. In the end Gilbert outwits the bully with the best trick of all. This is a story about pranks, friendship, and bullying.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, learning to read, read aloud book, developing reader, interactive reading

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 10

Interest Level: 5 to 9

Reading Level: 2.8

Age of Child: Read with and by a 5-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: My daughter picked this book because she wanted to know what kids did on April Fools Day, and she loved it, loved it, loved it! She liked the fun (not mean) tricks the friends played on each other and that Gilbert gets the bully with the best trick of all. In the front of the book they have a list of pages with the on-purpose mistakes to look for, and she really liked looking for mistakes on the pages.

Adult Reader Reaction: I enjoyed looking for the mistakes they put in the pictures. I liked the story but felt it went on and on a little. They could have cut out a couple of the jokes and still had a good story. I was surprised she wanted to read it again but was happy the book held her interest.

Pros: This is an easy-to-read story about friendship and pranks (and their consequences). The seek-and-find makes it interactive, too.

Cons: Be prepared for tricks. My daughter has collected some that she plans to use on April Fools Day next year.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow or buy. I would buy this for a teacher so she could share it with her class before April Fool's Day. This is a fun story and kids will laugh.


Educational Themes: There are lots of ways to enjoy this book. On the surface it is a book about April Fools and pranks, but there are opportunities to ask "how would you feel?" or "what would you do?" to help kids with empathy and understanding other people's feelings.

Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. S/He borrowed the book from the local library.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, humor, friendship, school

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2009

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