Crafty Chloe

Kelly DiPucchio, illus. by Heather Ross. S&S/Atheneum, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-2123-3
Chloe can stitch and glue like nobody’s business. She makes fetching hats out of coffee filters (Mom, who clearly need her caffeine, is not amused). She designs dapper clothes for her dog, who promptly assumes a swinger’s swagger. And she embellishes her baby brother with googly eyes because, as DiPucchio (Zombie in Love) explains in a gently precocious tone, they make “anything... less boring.” While it’s smart to tap into the Etsy zeitgeist, this story of an ingenious heroine relies on some inelegant ideas. Why does Chloe have to be a loser at everything but crafting? Why is her nemesis a standard-issue fashionista who thinks crafting is déclassé (and is, of course, won over)? Luckily, Ross, a crafter herself, saves the premise with her sprightly cartooning and evident sympathies for her heroine. The book is at its best capturing Chloe in full DIY mode, totally focused on creating something fabulous from the supplies scattered in front of her. Anyone wanting to teach a child the rewards of being “in the zone” should just open the book to one of those pages. Ages 4–8. Agent: Writers House. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/12/2011
Release date: 02/21/2012
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