cover image Darcy’s First Sleepover

Darcy’s First Sleepover

Julie Fortenberry. Holt/Ottaviano, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-250-75590-2

In this sweetly encouraging picture book, Fortenberry follows Darcy, a light brown–skinned child who adheres to a bedtime routine guided by her father—and aided by beloved stuffed animal Little Cat. When Darcy visits her freckled, light-skinned cousin Kayla, the visit turns into a sleepover. Though Darcy notes routine differences with some unease (“I have strawberry toothpaste at my house,” she says), a phone call to her father provides welcome support, and Fortenberry’s assured third-person narrative brings the tale to a triumphant close: as the cousins plan another sleepover, Kayla confesses that she’s never slept over elsewhere, and Darcy reassures, “It might be a little scary at first. But it’s really fun.” Fortenberry’s digital paintings, meanwhile, emulate watercolors in hue and texture. A gentle, confidence-boosting volume about a common milestone. Back matter features an author’s note that reveals the story’s personal inspiration. Ages 4–8. [em](June) [/em]