cover image Beezy


Megan McDonald. Orchard Books (NY), $13.95 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-531-30046-6

A trio of breezy tales fills this beginning reader, which stars the peppy title character and her easygoing best buddy, Merlin. McDonald (The Great Pumpkin Switch) shrewdly gives each selection a theme or setting loaded with child appeal: in ""Eye of the Storm,"" the lights go out, candles make spooky shadows and the two youngsters listen to tales of a long-ago hurricane; Beezy secretly hopes no one will respond to her notice about a stray dog she has found in ""Funnybone""; and in the third, she and Merlin make friends with a new girl, ""Sarafina Zippy,"" whose parents are circus performers. The author's cleverly subtle repetition of words and phrases, often appearing in the punchy dialogue among the young characters is well suited to beginning readers. And her ear for the way children speak is on target, as when Beezy tells Sarafina that she has known Merlin her ""whole life,"" or at least since the age of two, ""except for one week when I was mad at him."" In step with the stories' energetic stride, Poydar's (Cool Ali) cheerful, brightly hued pictures imbue Beezy and her companions with an extra measure of personality. Ages 6-8. (Sept.)