cover image Two Girls Can!

Two Girls Can!

Keiko Narahashi. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-82618-4

Narahashi's (I Have a Friend) tribute to girlfriend power is both hip and energetic. Beginning with the electric pink cover featuring two girls in sunglasses with plenty of attitude, the book overflows with liveliness and a multicultural, capable cast of girls. They can ""hold hands,/ give bear hugs,/ be best friends."" Various pairs of girls climb trees, share treats and jokes, and even ""get really, really mad,/ then make up and [are] brave together."" In the grand finale, all the girls join together in an exuberant conga line dance. The text occasionally substitutes activities too arbitrary to demonstrate real friendship (""Two girls can stay dry, or get wet, and dry again""). But the illustrations buoy any shortcomings in the text with enthusiasm. Narahashi's vibrant watercolors of exuberant girls echo the joyful pleasures children find in one another. Readers will feel empowered by the confidence emanating from the girls in these pages as they celebrate the everyday things they can do together. Ages 3-7. (May)