cover image Amber Brown Is Tickled Pink

Amber Brown Is Tickled Pink

Bruce Coville and Elizabeth Levy, illus. by Tony Ross. Putnam, $14.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-399-25656-1

The star of Paula Danziger’s series that began in 1994 with Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon makes an exuberant reappearance in this installment, written by two close friends of the late author. Coville (the My Teacher Is an Alien books) and Levy (the Something Queer Mysteries) don’t miss a beat as they channel the voice of Danziger’s funny, acerbic, and pun-loving heroine. Throughout the story, happiness and sadness are closely entwined for nine-year-old Amber: she’s thrilled that her divorced mother is marrying big-hearted Max, but uneasy that “for the first time in my life something huge is happening and Dad isn’t even a tiny part of it.” She struggles with this and other wedding dilemmas, including picking the perfect dress and making a toast, but she finds solutions with characteristic resolve and resourcefulness. Beyond the wedding story line, the authors deliver a sensitive portrait of a child handling divorce, especially in cruel offhand remarks her parents occasionally make about each other, which cause Amber heartache. Coville and Levy do splendid service both to this character and her creator. Ages 8–12. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (Sept.)