cover image MY BUNNY DIARY


Tracy Dockray, . . North-South/SeaStar, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-1-58717-118-5

Dockray (Am I Big or Little?) keenly channels the angst that surrounds the ever-shifting alliances of young girls. The book, designed as a journal with a magnetic clasp, opens to yellow lined paper festooned with marginalia (which ranges from drawings to e-mails to an actual three-dimensional note). On these pages, Dora pours out her heart as she watches her best friend, Ally, become friends with the "icky" doll-loving Babbette. "At lunch I pretended I was a prisoner chained up with bread and water and rats as my only friends while Ally and Babbette sat together and talked about baby bottles!" Dora scrawls, and on the opposite page Dockray portrays a thoroughly convincing scene of lunchroom agony and ostracism. But there's good news by book's end: Dora has made a new friend named Rose, and is even patching things up with Ally (although Babbette apparently remains beyond the pale as far as Dora is concerned). First- and second-graders will recognize the situations Dora describes (although the book's emotional authenticity may make it too intense for five-year-olds) and find this volume alternately harrowing, funny and true-to-life. Ages 5-8. (Jan.)