cover image Louise the Big Cheese: Divine Diva

Louise the Big Cheese: Divine Diva

Elise Primavera, , illus. by Diane Goode. . S&S/Wiseman, $16.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-7180-1

A bubblegum pink jacket with glittery type will catch the eye of aspiring leading ladies and Fancy Nancy fans. Inside, they'll easily identify with the drama-loving protagonist of Primavera's (Auntie Claus ) buoyant tale. Small in stature, Louise is sure that landing the role of Cinderella in her school play is her ticket to Broadway (her motto: “Dream big!”). Alas, her best friend Fern gets that part, while Louise is cast as a mouse, resulting in a spat between the girls. Caldecott Honor artist Goode's (When I Was Young in the Mountains ) playful watercolors with whimsical and expressive black outlines capture Louise's mercurial personality, as when the would-be diva holds up the broken tail of her itchy, secondhand mouse costume in disgust, while Fern, in a “frilly pink big-cheese Cinderella ball gown,” delightedly rehearses her crowning line. Their friendship is restored in the end, as Louise rescues her pal when Fern freezes and forgets her lines. Hand-lettered dialogue balloons and humor-filled renderings of Louise's show-biz dreams, bursting with pink and magenta, drive home the heroine's larger-than-life outlook. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)