Book: Never, Not Ever!

Never, Not Ever!

By Beatrice Alemagna

(48 pages, children’s picture book, 2021)

Beatrice Alemagna’s new children’s book Never, Not Ever! tells the story of an adorable, plucky little bat named Pascaline who might just be a little nervous about starting school. Pascaline is five and lives in a treehouse with her parents. She knows exactly what she likes, and more importantly, what she doesn’t like — namely, the idea of starting kindergarten. She fights her parents with every bit of her being on this rite of passage, insisting that she will “never, not ever” attend school, especially without her parents there by her side!

On the morning of the big day, Pascaline’s mom and dad tell her to look out the window, where she sees all her woodland friends marching off to kindergarten; toads, caterpillars, squirrels, and hedgehogs. This doesn’t do anything to convince the tiny bat that school is a good idea; she clings to the furniture and screeches once again that she will “never, not ever” go. In fact, Pascaline screeches so loudly that it magically shrinks her parents down to pocket-size! This gives Pascaline a bit of courage, realizing she can pop her mom and dad into her pocket and take them with her to her first day of kindergarten.

Throughout the rest of the book, readers will see how Pascaline gradually gains the confidence to take on the often daunting milestone of beginning school. She discovers that having fun-sized versions of her parents doesn’t really bode well for a day of making new friends, singing classroom songs, and practicing her flying skills at recess. Pascaline soon realizes that she can be independent and “find her wings” at her new school — without Mom and Dad tagging along. On the way home from that rather eventful day, Pascaline’s parents magically change back to their regular size, and when they say they had fun and want to go back to school again, Pascaline says “Never, not ever!”

The storyline, characters, and beautiful illustrations in this book are so endearing, and this is a perfect story to read if you have a young child in your life who is about to enter kindergarten, or any young child who is nervous about changing schools, starting a new grade, or making new friends. With many funny moments and a very cute main character, this book is sure to ease their fears about new beginnings.

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Emily Kosowicz

Author: Insider Staff

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