**Disclosure – I received these books for review purposes from the Disney Book Group. All opinions are my own.
Story time is always a favorite in this Neurotic Disney home. NDK (Neurotic Disney Kid) is old enough to read, but not too old to still be read to! Books are wonderful on so many levels. We keep them everywhere – even in the car! Disney Books are a great way to keep Disney at home. Disney Book Group was kind enough to send these books for NDK approval – be sure to look for the NDK Review after the description of each book!
Hi everyone! It’s NDK (Neurotic Disney Kid) and I am reviewing a new children’s book, Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes. It is her first book. I was lucky enough to interview Mrs. Johannes, too! Be sure to read my review, and then read about our interview after!
- Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker
- Written & Illustrated by Shelley Johannes
- Hardcover * Page Count: 160
- Price: $14.99 * on sale now
Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker is about a girl that likes to think, but only when she is upside down. Beatrice thinks up a top-secret plan for third grade and shares it with her friend, Lenny. Together they plan dressing like ninjas on the first day of school. But on the first day of third grade, everything goes wrong! Lenny forgets about the plan, and the ninja suits – and has a new friend! Beatrice has to try to fix the plan and her friendship fast!
One of my favorite parts of Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker was when she snuck in to the teacher’s lounge. This is one of my favorite parts because no one even noticed her when she walked in. She was able to sneak three ice cream cones out and no one ever saw her! I also liked how Beatrice spoke Pig Latin. Pig Latin is a funny language and I really liked how they had a secret language.
One of the only parts of the book that I did not like was the character, Chloe. Chloe wanted to be a veterinarian, but doesn’t like reptiles or any other animals except for cats and dogs. She was a bossy person, and didn’t care what anyone else thought. But every story has to have a part you don’t like!
I learned that you should always be nice to all of your friends. Your friends can make new friends, and that is okay. Everybody is different and has a different way of thinking. Be nice to everyone.
I would recommend this book for everyone. Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker is a fun story. It explains differences and how to deal with problems when things seem different. There is a lot of fun in this book!
- What inspired you to become a children’s author?
I have two kids, and reading together is my favorite part of every day. When my boys were young, I fell in love with picture books. I love the way the words and the art work together to tell a story. Once I fell in love with children’s books, I couldn’t imagine writing anything else.
- How did you come up with the idea for Beatrice Zinker?
One day, about five years ago, I was at the library and I pictured a girl coming down from the ceiling in her ninja suit, ready to steal all the books. The idea of her made me laugh, and—after an exciting journey with lots of trial-and-error, experimenting and revision—that upside-down girl eventually became Beatrice Zinker!
- Why does Beatrice always like to be upside-down?
When I was a kid, I loved upside-down. One of my favorite things was staring at the ceiling, imagining where I would put the furniture if I lived on the ceiling, or laying in the grass and pretending to walk on the clouds. As for Beatrice herself, I think that’s just the way she is—a little bit different than everyone around her—and upside down is her normal.
- Beatrice speaks Pig-Latin in the book. Did you used to speak Pig-Latin?
Yes, but I was never very good at it! Nevertheless, I loved the idea of a secret, silly language. My friend across the street and I had a secret club. Our headquarters was the space behind her headboard and the wall. We spent tons of time back there, writing secret messages and making clues to hide around the neighborhood for our sisters to find.
- I want to be an author when I grow up. Did you want to be an author as a child?
I love that you want to be an author, and I’m cheering you on already! As a child, I dreamed of writing a book someday. (I still have the first book I made in elementary school—it was about Pacman!) Even though I wanted to be an author, I wasn’t sure it was something I was allowed to do. I thought I needed to be older, or to live somewhere more exciting, or to be someone more interesting. I wish I’d realized sooner that writers are all ages, and live in all places, and that my own doubts were the only thing holding me back. And that all I had to be was me.
- I just turned 10 – what was your favorite book when you were 10?
Happy Birthday! Double digits! I can’t remember what my favorite book was at ten, but at eleven, I met Anne of Green Gables, and I think she’s still my favorite.
Thank you, Mrs. Johannes, for taking the time to answer my questions and for writing a really great book for kids my age! I am looking forward to more adventures from Beatrice and Lenny!