Norwich, the Entertaining Editor for the New York Times Magazine
, and Miller, whose work has appeared in the New Yorker
, combine their urbane sensibilities to create a rawther
long story about a wealthy little girl named Molly, who lives in a New York City apartment with her cat, Slim Enid, her ultrathin, ultrablonde, ultrachic mother, and their housekeeper. (Sound familiar? But this is in a co-op with an all-white living room, not the Plaza.) Molly spends much of her time transforming herself into exciting fantasies with the help of her well-worn magical dress and her active imagination. Forced to attend a family wedding ("Mingle, darling, mingle"), Molly packs along her rascally cat and her raggedy magical dress, resulting in a humorous climax when she gives her dress to a homeless woman who transforms herself into the Queen of England (or a cartoonish facsimile). This Dame Edna/Queen Elizabeth character adds some spark to the story, and she should have made her entrance earlier in the tale. Miller's edgy illustrations are stronger than the overly long narrative, with lots of visual humor and funny expressions, but his characterizations can't rescue the rambling plot, which is as leaden as they come. The intent seems to be a kinder, gentler Eloise for the 21st century, but there is no magic here. (Picture book.
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