cover image Bridget Fidget and the Most Perfect Pet

Bridget Fidget and the Most Perfect Pet

Joe Berger, . . Dial, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-3405-0

In his debut picture book, Berger, a British animator and cartoonist for the Guardian newspaper, introduces Bridget, a hyperkinetic and highly imaginative heroine. Yearning for a pet unicorn (she plans to name it Thunderhooves), Bridget is primed to believe that a huge package delivered to her house is that very same animal. After wreaking domestic havoc (she litters the kitchen with Styrofoam peanuts), she's crushed to discover that the package contains only a cuckoo clock—until she spots a ladybug that has hitchhiked on the knickknack. Berger has an animator's eye for action, and his heroine is especially appealing whenever she's in motion (she gets dressed in a whirlwind and races down the stairs accompanied by a truly ripping onomatopoeia, “SPIZZOOOOM!!”). But while Bridget is undeniably pert with her floppy short hairdo and red jumper, as a force of nature she's a bit tame. What's more, readers may find it difficult to believe that this strong-minded girl is truly assuaged by an insect pet—even if the ladybug is “much less skittery than a pet mouse.” Ages 3–5. (June)