Brownie & Pearl Step Out

Cynthia Rylant, Author, Brian Biggs, Illustrator
Cynthia Rylant, Author, Brian Biggs, Illustrator , illus. by Brian Biggs. S&S/Beach Lane $12.99 (24p) ISBN 978-1-4169-8632-4
Reviewed on: 11/30/2009
Release date: 12/01/2009

A birthday party (“Cats are invited”) is the outing spotlighted in Newbery Medalist Rylant's sweet snippet of a story, first in a planned series, which introduces a happy if a bit timid girl (Brownie) and her similarly sanguine cat (Pearl). As they arrive at their destination, a front stoop festooned with balloons, Brownie has second thoughts: “Uh-oh. Brownie feels shy. Maybe she'll go home.” But Pearl leaps through the cat door, forcing the issue (“Now Brownie has to knock”). She's warmly welcomed and enjoys games, cake, and ice cream. Short, snappy sentences (“Look! Pearl went in the kitty door!”), a bold font, and spot-on themes for this age level—birthday party, spunky pet, and the rewards of overcoming shyness—tailor this for girls just beginning to read on their own. Bubblegum pink and lime green pop from Biggs's (the Roscoe Riley Rules series) digitally rendered cartoon art, which features such endearing flourishes as Brownie's mismatched striped socks and floral dress, as well as the pink flowers she and Pearl wear in hair and fur. Cheerful from start to finish. Ages 3–5. (Dec.)

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