Elspeth Lorraine

Book Reviews

October 20, 2023

"The Brilliant Ms. Bangle" By Cara Devins and Illustrated by K-Fai Steele

There’s a new fashion maven in town and her name is Ms. Bangle. Oh, did I mention? She’s also BRILLIANT. Ms. Bangle reminds me of every amazing woman I’ve ever met and admired. She is running quickly. She is wearing funky glasses. Her hands and bags are overflowing with things she grabbed as she ran out of the house and she probably doesn’t need… but what if she does?! Her hair is piled high. The cover illustration is an absolute gas. Here she comes in her cool clogs and zig zagging patterned outfit to save my day! Ahem. I mean, the day. Save THE day. 

Kids don’t really like change. We’ve heard it a million times, they like routine. Just like babies like routine. And I like routine. Like a baby. School is starting and it’s time for the kids at Belford Elementary to read with Ms. Stack the librarian. But wait! Oh no! Their favorite librarian has moved away! And a new librarian is starting today. Her name is Ms. Bangle. The kids make a pact NOT to read with Ms. Bangle in protest. They won’t read even when she comes into the library and says funny and interesting things. They won’t read when she picks out a super interesting book for storytime. Sly Ms. Bangle tells the kids that’s ok and she thanks them for the day off! She needs to hem her pants anyway. She sets several boring boring boring tasks for the kids to do like moving boxes into the scary basement and sorting through the stacks. The ending is very satisfying, but I don't want to give it away. 

Bits and Pieces: The artwork was watercolor, ink and pencil. My favorite medium! K-Fai has great style. This is Cara’s debut work and I congratulate her heartily. A Brilliant Beginning! Also her favorite book is Eloise and so is mine. I’m worried this has turned into a friendship application for Cara and K-Fai to be my besties, but I just really like this book OK?!

Not Sure About: K-Fai uses some fun colors and I like her palette, but those big eyes kept startling me!

Favorite Part: I like how the library turtle had to help with the boring chores. It looked like he was sweating laboriously at one point and it tickled me. The cover of the book Ms. Bangle chose to read to the kids was, “Daisy and the Lagoon” and it looked hilarious. 

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