Second-grader Ellie May is a live wire with a good heart and less good impulse control. In Ellie May on Presidents’ Day, she’s desperate for her chance to be class flag leader, but when she tries to impress her teacher with her devotion to George Washington–style honesty, she ends up insulting her classmates instead. In Ellie May on April Fools’ Day, our heroine is jealous of Mo, the class funny guy, and wants to pull off a great prank herself; unfortunately, she takes things too far. Ellie May is a sympathetic heroine in her yearning for recognition (“Mo’s funny. Ava is smart. You’re artsy. I just want to be something too”), and the episodic chapters make for approachable and humorous early reading. Spirited, cartoonish black and white art has an appropriately chaotic edge in its interpretation of Ellie May’s diverse classroom and mixed-race family. Since the relevant holiday gets decent coverage in each book, this offers the possibility for solid curricular use as well as an amiable new series friend.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Book