cover image Milo Armadillo

Milo Armadillo

Jan Fearnley, . . Candlewick, $15.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-4575-5

When the pink and fluffy stuffed rabbit that Tallulah wants for her birthday proves impossible to find, Grandma offers to make one for her. But the haphazardly knitted and patched result—christened Milo Armadillo—falls far short of Tallulah's expectations (“He wasn't a pink fluffy rabbit, but Grandma had clearly gone to a lot of trouble. Milo Armadillo would have to do”). Can Tallulah learn to love Milo as much as he loves her? Or will the heartbroken Milo finally give up and ask Grandma to “unravel him” and try for a rabbit again? There'll be little suspense for readers: Milo—or rather, his fantasy counterpart—is pretty awesome. He pole vaults expertly, is an excellent sailor, and even plays a funky saxophone. But as Fearnley (Martha in the Middle ) has proven many times before, she's an expert at proffering lessons in emotional maturity with a light touch. And her pictures, which combine winsome drawings with elements of real yarn and knitwear, should keep kids turning the pages until Tallulah finally comes to her senses. Ages 2–up. (Dec.)