Leslea Newman, Author, Cyd Moore, Illustrator , illus. by Cyd Moore. Clarion $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-618-15989-5

As with Newman's The Boy Who Cried Fabulous (reviewed April 12), the author here introduces a protagonist with interests that buck societal stereotypes. Ruthie and her grandmother spend lots of time together, buying Ruthie's favorite foods, checking out her favorite books and playing on her favorite swing set. But with each outing, Ruthie longingly observes the neighbor boy, Brian, playing with his noisy vehicles. " 'Do you have a train to play with at your house, Nana?'... 'No,' says Nana, 'but I have some beautiful dolls waiting at home for you.' " While Nana encourages tea parties and flower painting, Ruthie prefers the roar of toy motorcycles and fire engines. Moore (I Love You, Stinky Face ) balances the enjoyable times the pair shares (as in a vignette of their playdate at the park) with the slight disappointment Ruthie feels when her preferences don't mesh with Nana's. The vibrant watercolors pack in plenty of detail and the cheery hues of the busy spreads echo Ruthie's sunny optimism, as do her short, curly red locks. Nana eventually learns to let her granddaughter be her guide into more boisterous play, though readers may feel that the ending goes too far when Nana gets carried away with Brian's trains herself. Young and old will likely appreciate both protagonists' points of view. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 09/06/2004
Release date: 08/01/2004
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