cover image Girl, You're Amazing!

Girl, You're Amazing!

Virginia Kroll. Albert Whitman & Company, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8075-2930-0

This volume celebrates present-day creativity and future potential, with the title providing a touch point for the optimistic verses: ""Girl, you're amazing, the art you create!/ T-shirts in tie-dye, a Mother's day plate,/ / Girl, you're amazing, the sport you can be!/ Swishing that basketball, climbing a tree."" Each sunny stanza accompanies scenes of girls working and playing; an all-girl orchestra performs as dancers leap, ballplayers congratulate each other after a game and a calm girl ""cool[s] a quarrel"" between two friends. Kroll (Hands!; A Carp for Kimiko) composes couplets that might refer to one special person or to many talented people. She closes with a long, rhyming list (""Grace, Emma, Jess, Amy, Chelsea, Christine,/ Cheryl, Dawn, Geetha, Kim, Rachel, Maureen..."") in which one's own name, or a friend's, very likely appears. Potter also aims for inclusion in her hip gouaches, which feature girls of all races and appearances. Asymmetrical faces, fashionably mismatched patterns and a quirky palette of faded blue-green, pasty pink and dim yellow recall her daughter Giselle Potter's cerebral-but-groovy artwork; the compositions are not quite as accomplished, but the characters possess an equal amount of verve and joie de vivre. Because the pictured athletes and scientists often appear older than the usual picture book audience, this whimsical appreciation might address elementary-schoolers, big sisters and mothers alike. Ages 5-9. (Mar.)