cover image A Bumblebee Sweater

A Bumblebee Sweater

Betty Waterton. Fitzhenry & Whiteside, $18.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-55455-028-9

In Waterton's (A Salmon for Simon) lighthearted tale, Nellie's myopic grandmother knits her a striped sweater for her bumblebee costume in the school play. After opening the gift, the girl proclaims it ""bee-yew-tiful!"" and insists on wearing it daily. But her antics, including a slide into home plate on the baseball diamond, whooping it up at a birthday party and a close encounter with ""duck doo"" on a farm visit, leave the sweater in need of multiple washes. On the last go-round, it shrinks drastically in the clothes dryer, but no matter-Nellie's role is fortuitously switched from bee to flower. However, the sweater fits her dog perfectly, and he poses in it for a photo with Nellie and two flower-playing classmates. As Grandma squints at the picture, she mistakes the dog for her granddaughter, and comments that the other children look huge beside Nellie, a gaffe that will make readers giggle. LaFave's (Big Ben) cartoon-style illustrations locate Nellie's energy and exuberance in her riot of loose red curls. Ages 4-8.