cover image Dear Diary

Dear Diary

Sara Fanelli. Candlewick Press (MA), $14.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-0965-8

Starting with the busy scribbles and notes that cover the graph paper inside this paper-over-board book's cover, Fanelli plunges readers into an enchanting community of committed diarists, as each describes the activities of the same day from his/her perspective. The diary entries from Lucy, Chair, Spider, Firefly, Knife and Fork, Bubu (the dog) and Ladybug appear on various kinds of paper (notebook, graph, ledger), all easily accessible, and all--in the context of this book--seem to invite doodling and other creative expression. The cover page of each diary contains a quote (the only typeset text in the book): for Lucy, ""There was a little girl who had a little curl,"" and ""You are all fair, my love; there is no spot in you"" for Ladybug. The handwriting reflects the personality of each character. Knife, while discussing a dinner party, uses elegant formal script: ""But we had a scare when Mrs. Fork was accidentally dropped. To my relief, Bubu came to her rescue. Unfortunately Mrs. Fork felt the disgrace frightfully."" Forthright Bubu, on the other hand, describes the same event in uneven block letters: ""At dinner everyone patted me and gave me cake. All I did was pick up Mrs. Fork from the ground and put her on the table."" Fanelli's hand-lettered text combined with her intricate collages and freewheeling drawings create an intricate and humorous environment for the eccentric cast of characters. This volume is sure to inspire both secret and self-proclaimed diarists. Ages 7-10. (Apr.)