cover image Mimi and Lulu: Three Sweet Stories, One Forever Friendship

Mimi and Lulu: Three Sweet Stories, One Forever Friendship

Charise Mericle Harper, . . HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-06-175583-5

Harper's (Milo's Special Words ) sweet if occasionally static tales introduce two ambiguous creatures whose mild sparring gives way to amicable truces. Mimi is the headstrong instigator of the duo, Lulu the problem solver. In the first story, Mimi, wearing a flouncy pink frock and boa, insists she only likes pink things, until Lulu, dressed head-to-toe in purple, offers to share her purple frosted cupcake. Lulu again makes peace when Mimi ignores her while allegedly chatting on the phone with another friend (“That's not even a real phone,” accuses Lulu) by craftily enticing Mimi with “a flying pink elephant ride.” In the book's flattest story, Lulu announces she must go home before they've had time to play princess, easing her friend's subsequent histrionics by lending Mimi her purple hair bow. As spare as the text, Harper's artwork sets these friends and minimal props against white backdrops, keeping attention on the characters and their changing emotional states. Deceptively simple, the stories reveal plenty about the tricky realities of early friendships and the rewards of compromise and generosity. Ages 3–6. (Sept.)