Katie Woo Series
By Carrie Kingsley,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Relatable stories in short chapters have good life lessons.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
This series uses simple, age-appropriate words to model empathy, persistence, and optimism.
Katie learns from her mistakes, owns up to lying, and faces disappointment at school. But when things go wrong for Katie and her friends, they don't stay mad or disappointed, and they always help one another.
Positive Role Models
Parents, teachers, and friends are supportive and guide the kids through situations. And the kids' adventures in their neighborhood and school (Halloween, losing a class pet, welcoming a new kid) are activities young readers can see themselves doing.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Fran Manushkin's Katie Woo series is relatable, inclusive, and teeming with positivity. Katie gets mad about things most young readers do as well -- she didn't get the part she wanted in the school play, or her Halloween costume is disappointingly not scary -- but things are resolved quickly and happily. The ways Katie deals with classroom teasing, theft, and her own lies are particularly well done. What's nice is that Katie and her friends learn their life lessons and move on; feelings don't stay hurt for long. These books have lovely illustrations and are published in two ways: one story per book (each about 25 pages, with very short chapters) and as a compilation of several stories in one book (each about 100 pages, and each story is a chapter).
Where to Read
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What's the Story?
In the KATIE WOO series, early elementary school student Katie is a kid young readers can relate to. She usually has fun with her friends, but sometimes she gets teased. She has great ideas, but she gets sad when they don't work out the way she wants. Katie, with her friends JoJo and Pedro, deal with hurt feelings and lost animals and navigating the ever-changing social situations at school. Katie means well, but gets in her share of trouble -- and then gets out of it, learning lessons along the way.
Is It Any Good?
These are great stories for beginning readers. The sentences and the content are simple but engaging, and the illustrations are colorful and expressive. Asian-American Katie Woo has friends of every color, so all readers will see someone who looks like them on the pages.
It's nice that Katie isn't overdone as a character -- she isn't sassy and doesn't go for cheap laughs. She's just a regular kid who deals with situations all kids do, and does it in a way kids can relate to.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Katie Woo reacts when she's upset. How would you react if a friend had a toy you wanted? Would you lie to get it?
What is Katie thinking about when she's getting teased? Have you been teased at school? Have you teased anyone?
What other books have friends who celebrate holidays together?
- Author: Fran Manushkin
- Illustrator: Tammie Lyon
- Genre: For Beginning Readers
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Picture Window Books
- Publication date: February 1, 2011
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 5 - 7
- Number of pages: 32
- Available on: Paperback, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: April 24, 2020
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Where to Read
Our Editors Recommend
Books About Friendship
Books with Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Characters
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