cover image Birdie's Big Girl Shoes

Birdie's Big Girl Shoes

Sujean Rim. Little, Brown, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-04470-7

Rim, whose illustrations accessorize the Web site DailyCandy, makes her authorial debut with a story of a girl who covets the fabulous high-heeled footwear of her stylish (and strikingly waifish) mother. When her mother finally relents and allows her daughter to play dress up with the contents of her shoe closet (that's right, a la Sex and the City, mom has a closet just for shoes), Birdie learns the answer to the question, "What price beauty?" For while the shoes represent that perfect, drool-worthy combination of improbable geometry and sublime superfluity, wearing them isn't child's play. "[H]iding was impossible with pointy Mary Jane sticking out," Birdie discovers, and when it comes to turning cartwheels, "landing sure was tricky in sky-high stilettos." Rim's gossamer watercolors exude a breezy élan and they pop with luscious color—the pinks are especially juicy. The exaggerated scenes of Birdie trying on her mother's shoes are priceless (in one, she balances inside one shoe as if on a seesaw), and the target audience will identify both with Birdie's desire to play grownup and her epiphany that barefoot is better. Ages 3—6. (Sept.)