cover image Pink


Nan Gregoryn, , illus. by Luc Melanson. . Groundwood, $17.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-88899-781-4

Vivi is dizzy with wanting pink.” That’s because pink stands for everything perfect in the lives of the snooty girls at school—“the Pinks”—who live in houses instead of apartment buildings and have parents who don’t drive trucks or clean buildings like Vivi’s financially strapped but loving dad and mom. When Vivi spots a “perfect pink” bride doll in a ritzy toy shop, she’s determined to make it hers, even if she has to run errands in order to scrape together the money. Then, after her parents fete her with an ingenious “all pink” idyll in the park (the picnic includes sandwiches with strawberry jam and cranberry tea), Vivi discovers that the doll has vanished from the shop window: one of the Pinks now owns it. Poor Vivi is crushed—until she realizes that having a supportive family is better than all the pink in the world. Gregory’s (Amber Waiting ) tale is filled with wonderful, keenly empathic moments (“Will she say, 'You love her so much, she belongs with you?’ ” Vivi fantasizes when the storekeeper shows her the doll) and Melanson’s (Four Little Old Men ) angular, pink-hued digital drawings strike an emotional chord of their own. Vivi’s change of heart may strike some as too abrupt; after missing out on the doll, she says her “heart is a stone,” but on the next page, after a harmonica tune by her father, she is dancing and all is forgotten. Even so, this heartrending reminder of what’s truly important in life will likely linger. Ages 4-7. (Aug.)