cover image Brenda Berman, Wedding Expert

Brenda Berman, Wedding Expert

Jane Breskin Zalben, , illus. by Victoria Chess. . Clarion, $16 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-618-31321-1

Entertainingly headstrong Brenda is devastated that her favorite uncle is getting married. And her longstanding dream of wearing a gold lamé flower girl frock fizzles when she hears that the bride, Florrie, envisions her flower girls in lavender taffeta. On top of that, she’ll be walking the aisle with Florrie’s niece, Lucy, whose golden curls are a far cry from Brenda’s “strands of spaghetti” tresses. Just when she’s sure things can’t get any worse, her uncle and Florrie elope. Since they now have “robbed her of her happiness not once but twice,” Brenda announces, with characteristic melodrama, “I’m never, ever going to speak to them again for as long as I live.” Not easily defeated, Brenda and Lucy pull together a heartwarming after-the-fact celebration. Cake and punch recipes make for an appropriately festive appendix to this lively early chapter book from the creators of Baby Babka, the Gorgeous Genius . Brenda’s robust personality drives the narrative as well as the art, as Chess’s folksy watercolors capture the girl’s expressions, which vacillate wildly between outrage and exhilaration. Ages 6–9. (May)