cover image Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie

Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie

Norton Juster, , illus. by Chris Raschka. . Scholastic/di Capua, $16.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-439-92943-1

This welcome sequel to the Caldecott Medal title The Hello, Goodbye Window knowingly describes a child's conflicting personalities. “Sometimes I'm Sourpuss,” a multiracial girl admits. “And sometimes I'm Sweetie Pie.” Her grandparents, Poppy and Nanna, accept her dueling dispositions, but when she visits they like to know whom to expect. “Poppy, it's me, Sweetie Pie,” she promises, keeping her alter ego at bay. She does acknowledge her mercurial moods (“Sometimes you can go from Sourpuss to Sweetie Pie so quick,” she admits, in a six-stage Hyde to Jekyll transformation), and her grandparents gently tease her (“Pleasant dreams, girls,” they joke at bedtime). Both the sunny moments and the tantrums will ring true for readers of any age. Raschka (see Peter and the Wolf , below) devises competing motifs of light daubs and glowering smears, pairing Sweetie Pie's upbeat sky blue, gold, cantaloupe and pink with Sourpuss's grumpy scarlet, mucky green and purple-blue. Sweetie Pie's balletic, floaty postures contrast with Sourpuss's dramatic scowls and defiant stances; the two personas appear virtually side by side for maximum effect. A keeper. All ages. (Oct.)