cover image Penny and Penelope

Penny and Penelope

Dan Richards, illus. by Claire Almon. Imprint, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-250-15607-5

When two friends get together for a playdate, it seems on the surface that they couldn’t be more different: the host is clad in purple and pink; the other wears a dinosaur shirt and circumspectly eyes her friend’s frilly bedroom. Their respective dolls seem opposites, too: Princess Penelope wears a tiara and rides a doe-eyed pony, while Penny is a secret agent with a blunt bob, dark shades, and a sleek motorcycle. The story switches to the dolls’ perspectives, which move from tea party fare to live-action heroics in an enchanted kingdom; when a werewolf invades, they work together to fight the interloper. Almon’s plucky watercolors nail Penny’s no-holds-barred attitude and Penelope’s more whimsical nature. Readers will cheer when Penelope shows innovation and gusto, leaping onto Penny’s racing bike and facing down the werewolf. One of the greatest joys of play is trying on different roles, Richards suggests—and there’s a bit of Penny and Penelope in everyone. Ages 3–6. [em](Aug.) [/em]