Edie Is Ever So Helpful!

Sophy Henn. Philomel, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-54806-2
Even the very young should be able to detect the irony in Henn’s title without seeing the first page. Young Edie wakes up her parents by jumping on their bed and playing guitar, she gives Grandma and Grandpa surreptitious makeovers when they’re snoozing, and she paints a big messy butterfly on the wall. Henn’s images are never less than striking—they bring to mind vintage European poster art crossed with classic Little Lulu comics. Edie’s eager dot eyes and big smile exude heedless exuberance, and she cuts a stylish figure in her black tulle skirt, mustard yellow shirt, and red pompom hat. But Edie also feels more relentless than impish—her thoughtlessness and impulsiveness quickly become one-note, and Henn doesn’t seem interested in understanding it. Even Edie’s behavioral epiphany (“Sometimes I have to remember not to be quite so helpful”) comes across more like an attempt at wrapping up the story than genuine character development. Readers may find themselves having a greater connection to the kids and adults around Edie, who are usually wearing grimaces and frowns. Ages 3–7. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/06/2017
Release date: 01/09/2018
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-0-399-54808-6
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