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19 Girls and Me -written by Darcy Pattison & illustrated by Steven Salerno, published by Philomel Books (Penguin Young Readers), 2006.
"Salerno's ink-and-watercolor illustrations are wonderfully imaginative. Through using the contrast of grayish hues for the school related pictures with the intense color burst of the recess illustrations, he conveys the uplifting sense of freedom the children experience when they surrender themselves to play." -KIrkus Reviews
On the first day of Kindergarten John Hercules Po is startled to see his classmates are 19 girls! Through their imaginative recess adventures visiting the Himalayas, the Great Wall of China, the Amazon jungle, and even the moon, they all become 20 friends.
above: cropped view of the cover for 19 Girls and Me.
left: the children encounter a giant Yeti beast above the clouds in the Himalayan mountains.
above: all the children head out into the schoolyard for recess, where their imaginative, wild adventures begin...
above: John Hercules Po and his 19 girl classmates dig a tunnel to China and walk along the Great Wall...
above: detail view of John Hercules Po and his 19 girl classmates walking along the Great Wall of China...
above: cropped view of a page from the printed book... John Hercules Po and his classmates during recess -building a tower reaching to the moon.