cover image All That Glitters

All That Glitters

Jill Santopolo. S&S/Aladdin, $15.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-4424-7380-5

In this upbeat first book in the Sparkle Spa series, author/editor Santopolo (the Alec Flint Mysteries) introduces practical, organized fifth-grader Aly and her younger and comparatively impulsive sister, Brooke, whose mother owns a bustling nail salon, True Colors. The girls enjoy spending time after-school and on the weekend doing ancillary chores at the salon, which Aly considers “the best place in the world.” One especially busy day, their mother lets Aly give the star of the sixth-grade soccer team a pedicure featuring a rainbow of sparkly colors. Word of Aly’s nail-polishing prowess spreads quickly, and more young customers flock to the salon, sparking the sisters’ idea of opening a “kid salon” at the back of their mother’s shop. While there’s plenty of talk of nail polish colors, polishing techniques, and how salons operate, the author also devotes substantial attention to the siblings’ mutually supportive and respectful relationship, while touching on the idea that “Girls can be smart, strong, and sparkly.” Due simultaneously: Purple Nails and Puppy Tails. Ages 7–10. (Feb.)