cover image Lenore's Big Break

Lenore's Big Break

Nancy Carlson, Susan Pearson. Viking Children's Books, $14 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-670-83474-7

Perserverance really pays off for the heroine of this madcap picture book. Lenore isn't concerned that her office co-workers think she's a nerd, for it's her secret dream--to make it big with her performing birds--that keeps Lenore going. She arrives home each evening loaded down with worms, grasshoppers, day-old bread and ``a few dozen cod'' to feed the myriad feathered friends who share her apartment. Then Lenore and the accomplished avians practice the theatrical routines that eventually will make them famous. Pearson's snappy text skillfully holds the reader's attention as Lenore's double life unfolds. Carlson delivers appropriately zany flamingos, parrots and pelicans decked out in everything from tutus to top hats. Though the office setting and ``don't lose sight of your dream'' theme may limit the appeal for younger readers, children will flock to the illustrations' sense of frivolity in this high-flying tale that more than fills the bill. Ages 5-up. (Mar.)