cover image A Beautiful Girl

A Beautiful Girl

Amy Schwartz, . . Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-59643-165-2

Schwartz's (Oscar: The Big Adventure of a Little Sock Monkey , reviewed June 26) spry story introduces a pony-tailed gal with oodles of personality and an answer for everything. Jenna, sporting a flowered frock, sets out for the market and meets a baby elephant, who tells her she has "a very funny trunk." Jenna insists, "I am not an elephant. I am a big girl and this is my nose ." When the elephant asks her if she uses her nose as he uses his trunk (a series of images across the spread demonstrate the fellow picking up peanuts and spraying water on his back), Jenna cites a trio of things for which she does use her nose: smelling daisies and roses, freshly baked cookies and her mother when they hug. The elephant proclaims her "a very nice girl with a very nice nose," and asks if he can accompany her to market. Joining them in turn are a robin (inquiring about the girl's strange beak), a fly (wondering where her 100 eyes are) and a goldfish (calling her ears "goofy gills"), who are intrigued to learn what Jenna does with her mouth, eyes and ears. As she specifies how she uses her senses, readers get a heartwarming glimpse of Jenna's life with her loving parents, baby sibling and pooch. In an endearing denouement, the engaging entourage reaches the market, where Jenna purchases a treat for everyone. Ages 3-6. (Aug.)