cover image Angelina's Birthday Surprise

Angelina's Birthday Surprise

Katharine Holabird, Helen Craig. Clarkson N Potter Publishers, $16 (25pp) ISBN 978-0-517-57325-9

Holabird and Craig first introduced the effervescent Angelina in Angelina Ballerina. In their seventh Angelina book, the intrepid mouse and her friend Alice are riding their bikes home from a trip to the store when Angelina hits a big rock and tumbles headfirst over the handlebars. Although Angelina is only slightly hurt, her bike is damaged beyond repair. At Angelina's extravagant birthday party--winningly depicted in Craig's delicately defined watercolors--the little mouse is quite sad because she doesn't get a new bike, but her parents have a surprise in store. Unlike many birthday books, Holabird's plot takes several twists and turns; by keeping the story focused on the loss of the bike, rather than the party, she keeps the reader guessing until almost the last page. Ages 4-7. (Oct.)