cover image FLOWER GIRL


Kathy Furgang, , illus. by Harley Jessup. . Viking, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-670-88950-1

Everyone assumes that Anna, the narrator of this slice-of-life story, will be thrilled by the dress-up pageantry of participating in a wedding. But during visit to Grandma's, Anna overhears that she is to be the flower girl in Aunt Julie's forthcoming wedding, and she takes an instant dislike to the idea. She says to herself, "There's nothing fun for kids to do at weddings. I would rather ride my bike or go swimming." A trip to the attic, where Mama, Aunt Julie and Grandma unpack bridal finery and wedding photos, however, melts at least some of Anna's anti-wedding resolve ("Let me try on that veil!"). In her picture book debut, Furgang skillfully skirts stereotypes and presents a realistic scenario to which many children (even boys) will relate. Jessup's (Just Enough) spunky ink-and-watercolor compositions capture the full bouquet of Anna's evolving thoughts and emotions, all against a backdrop of warm family portraits. With her spiky red hair and sweet smile, Anna shines both as an action-loving tomboy and as a happy member of the bridal party. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)