cover image Penelope Perfect: A Tale of Perfectionism Gone Wild

Penelope Perfect: A Tale of Perfectionism Gone Wild

Shannon Anderson, illus. by Katie Kath. Free Spirit, $15.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-63198-019-0

Penelope always gets good grades, irons her bed sheets each morning, rewrites her notes during recess, and stays up late writing lists. When she oversleeps one morning, she arrives late at school with frazzled hair and mismatched clothes, and she earns her first B. In a quick (and unprompted) transformation, Penelope starts to laugh, realizing that the world won’t end if she lets her hair down once in a while. Anderson’s singsong rhymes make the story’s message plain (“I’ve learned not to make life a checklist./ That doesn’t mean that I’m lazy./ It’s all right to go with the flow sometimes,/ And not make myself so crazy”) and Kath injects plenty of humor into her cartooning as their biracial heroine models a valuable attitude for readers whose striving can tilt into anxiety. Ages 5–9. [em](Sept.) [/em]