Oh Susannah: It's in the Bag (An Oh Susannah Story)
By: Carole P. Roman
Illustrated by: Mateya Arkova
Publication Date: April 2017
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: November 22, 2017
Susannah is having one heck of a day - will it ever end? Young readers will love following along to see what happens to Susannah when her day goes from bad to very, very bad in this first book in a delightful new series.
It's just another average morning for Susannah as she gets up and gets ready for school. But "average" quickly takes a turn for the worse as the third-grader eyes her math homework that she was supposed to have finished the night before. Oh, well, better just slip that paper into her school bag and ignore it. Susannah's mother calls to her, telling her to hurry, hurry, hurry. Why is her mother always in a hurry?
Oatmeal and a banana for breakfast. Bleck! Susannah hates bananas! She decides the best thing to do is hide that nasty fruit in her school bag. That takes care of the banana problem (or does it?). Both her parents are in such a rush that they hardly notice their daughter. Why are they always rushing?
On the school bus, Susannah's best friend Lola reminds her about the sleepover. Lola wants to know why Susannah didn't take the invitation yesterday. Susannah doesn't want to tell her friend that Lola's house is old and creepy, with spiders and maybe even ghosts! Surely Susannah can't be expected to sleep in such a scary house. Better just put that invitation into the school bag and deal with it later.
As Susannah's day continues, things continue to go downhill. Homework, gym class, a school project...every problem gets tossed into that school bag. And that school bag is getting quite heavy. At the same time, the banana, at the bottom of the school bag, is getting very, very smelly. Susannah is overwhelmed and she doesn't know what to do.
Oh Susannah: It's in the Bag is a quick moving story that will keep readers glued to the pages. The story is lighthearted, funny, and it teaches an important lesson. It quickly becomes apparent that all of Susannah's problems are being hidden away in her school bag, and at some point, that bag is not going to be able to take any more "problems." Susannah gets overwhelmed, and she doesn't know what to do to solve all those "things" hiding in her bag. Young readers will likely identify with Susannah's problems and want to see how she solves them. And that sleepover at Lola's? Stay tuned for book 2 in the series, Things That Go Bump to see what happens.
Quill says: A great start to a new series for young readers. I look forward to meeting Susannah again in her next book!