cover image Ruby and Bubbles

Ruby and Bubbles

Rosie Winstead, . . Dial, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-3024-3

Winstead's spry debut book introduces a feisty, busy girl with twins (dolls), a fulltime job (running her own lemonade stand) and her own TV talk show (performing for her toys with a cardboard box perched on her head). Ruby also makes a new best friend, a cheerful yellow bird named Bubbles who, as the two "chatted and chirped... just happened to mention that it was his bird-day." At the party Ruby throws for her feathered pet, Bratty Hatty and Mean Maureen deride Bubbles for not being able to fly and dismiss Ruby as "a bird-brain." Though the determined gal's attempts to teach her pal to fly fall flat, Bubbles rises to the occasion in the tale's pleasing finale, which brings a comically fitting comeuppance to the nasty girls. Rendered in watercolors, pencil, pen and ink, Winstead's energetic illustrations deliver the bulk of the book's humor (girl and bird sport matching plumes, and Ruby wheels Bubbles along in a roller skate). Ruby exhibits a flair for fashion with her array of eccentric outfits (while trying to teach Bubbles to fly, she straps wings on her back and tapes feathers to her pantaloons) and displays some delightfully dramatic expressions. Type that cavorts across the pages adds to the playfulness of this amiable story. Ages 4-up. (Mar.)