cover image Violet


Kathleen Leverich. HarperCollins, $3.95 (96pp) ISBN 978-0-06-442018-1

Launching the Flower Girls chapter-book series, this strained story introduces four best friends, each named for a flower, each desperate to be flower girl in a wedding. From this corny premise Leverich (Hilary & the Troublemakers) plunges into sitcom-style plotting as she gives shy Violet the first chance to have this dream come true. Staged at a gas station (with reception at a bowling alley), the ""punk"" wedding of her cousin Roxy, a drummer in a rock band, is not exactly the picture-perfect setting Violet has long envisioned for her flower-girl debut. But the once-shrinking Violet blossoms as she takes a stance and passes up the frilly pink frock her very proper mother has bought for the occasion in favor of the bride's choice of flower-girl attire--an orange mohair miniskirt and lavender crop top. The four girls as well as funky Roxy fall tidily into established types (Heather is smart ""but an awful snob""; carefree Daisy is the most popular girl in the fourth grade; Rose is ""no-nonsense"") and the group they make up is conveniently multiracial. The three companion volumes are due out the same month, but only readers as thoroughly besotted with the notion of flower girls as these characters are will keep going. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 6-9. (May)