cover image Earrings!


Judith Viorst. Atheneum Books, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-31615-9

Pierced ears are often a hot topic with girls: who has pierced ears, which girls have mothers who won't let them get their ears pierced, who gets to wear dangle earrings and when, are some of the burning questions haunting this picture book's characters. The curly-haired protagonist pleads, cajoles and bargains to get pierced ears; she points out that she is the only girl in ``her class, the world or the solar system'' without them. She promises to walk the dog, clean her room, read a book a week for a year and be nice to her little brother if she is only granted her wish. Viorst's tongue-in-cheek style is appropriate to her subject, and she neatly sidesteps the permission issue by ending her farcical tale with the obsessed girl poring over her growing earring collection. Anyone who feels the subject matter is superficial or an example of deteriorating values has forgotten the flaps over miniskirts and Nehru jackets. Ages 6-10. (Sept.)