cover image The Most Beautiful Kid in the World

The Most Beautiful Kid in the World

Jennifer A. Ericsson. HarperCollins, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-13941-4

When Annie decides to dress up for her grandmother's birthday--to become no less than ""the most beautiful kid in the world""--she rejects the ordinary outfit her mother suggests in favor of a truly unique ensemble. As her unsuspecting mother prepares the cake, Annie settles on yellow ""flowery long underwear,"" a pink tutu, ""white ruffled Sunday socks. And my red Rollerblades."" She completes the look with improvised lipstick: ""I open the peanut butter jar and spread some on my lips. Just as I finish, the doorbell rings. I'll get it!"" Ericsson (No Milk!) has a canny appreciation of the girl's wish to look genuinely stunning (and to stay out of her mother's line of vision). The witty Meddaugh (Martha Speaks) is an ideal collaborator, her cartoons capturing the haphazard get-up and the gleam in Annie's eyes. The artist adds hopeful thought bubbles over Annie's mother's head, which picture her daughter in demure, color-coordinated costumes. Her illustration carries the impish conclusion: Annie opens the door to a grandmother who shares her sense of style. Ages 3-up. (Sept.)