Book Review: Katie Couric’s The Brand New Kid

Posted January 14, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Children's

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Katie Couric’s The Brand New Kid

The Brand New Kid


Katie Couric

picture book in Hardcover edition that was published by Doubleday & Company on October 10, 2000 and has 32 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
Illustrator: Marjorie Priceman

A standalone picture book for children that explores tolerance in a school in the town of Delasky.

My Take

The graphics are playful, cheerful watercolors, and Couric’s rhyming verse is so very well done…I almost didn’t notice it until I fell into a sing-song of reading.

This really is a lovely book with an excellent message. One that is so necessary for kids to understand. This is one that teachers AND parents need to pay attention to, one of kindness and acceptance. Teachers even more than parents, because they’re the ones there in the classroom who see what’s going on.

Yes, parents should teach their children to accept, but it’s the teachers who are there. Schools claim to have a policy against bullying, and yet too many do nothing.

Lazlo should never have had to go through this. Why didn’t the teacher interest the students in him? Explore the country he came from? Get Lazlo to tell stories of his home? “Help” the other kids welcome him?

Couric has a great message here, and I’ll hope it gets through to parents AND teachers! My only quibble (which is quite unfair of me, as this is a children’s book!) is that I wish she had gone deeper.

The Story

It’s always exciting (and scary) on that first day of school, but even more so when you’re the new kid who doesn’t quite fit in.

It takes a brave young girl to reach out and discover how much of a muchness, this new boy is.

The Characters

Lazlo S. Gasky is the new student in town with a sad, tired mother.

Ellie McSnelly and Carrie O’Toole are best friends starting a new school year.

Brookhaven School
Fellow classmates include Emily Allen, Tyler Antole, Peter Barsinsky, Raquel Brooks, Ricky Jensen, and Susie McGraw.

Miss Kincaid is the second grade teacher.

The Cover and Title

The cover is darkly colorful with its blackboard background and the pointy-nosed teacher, a curl clinging to her cheek and her bi-colored sleeves, writing the title on that blackboard, mostly in white chalk but with the “T” and the “B” in red violet and green with a dark red dot on the “i”s. The author’s and illustrator’s names are also chalked on in descending order. The best part is the frightened looking Lazlo (ooh, that was tacky, thinking a frightened boy is “best”!?) in his orange sweater vest over his royal blue T, his blond spiky hair standing up in disarray. A last bit of bright is the yellow, green, and orange plaid bordering the left side.

The title is the point, The Brand New Kid, who always comes under fire.