Young Edith—Eddie to her friends—goes looking for the perfect birthday present for her mother. Fortunately she has lots of friends.
Overhearing her sister say “birthday—Mommy—fuzzy—little—squishy," Eddie is determined to find a fabulous gift that matches that description for her mother. Off she hies around her cozy French neighborhood looking for fluffy little squishy things. None of her friends among the shopkeepers has anything that exactly fills the bill, but she collects a series of oddments that come in surprisingly handy when she espies the perfect fluffy little squishy gift: “an adorable little creature” that looks like a hot pink Koosh ball with snout and tail. It’s a “present with a thousand uses” (“personal masseuse,” “amazing hat,” “decorative plant,” and more, according to the accompanying diagram). A series of swaps finds the fluffy little squishy ready to give to Eddie’s mother. Alemegna gives her 5-1/2-year-old protagonist a bright pink cape that stands out against the bricks and cobbles of the neighborhood and exactly matches her perfect gift. Adult readers may be puzzled never to find out exactly what her sister was really getting at, but both they and children will be utterly charmed by Eddie’s positive spirit and ingenuity. She and her neighborhood are rendered in hand-drawn lines and smudgy coloring that have a 1960s aesthetic; a slightly oversized trim befits her big heart.
An irrepressible heroine in an effervescent book. (Picture book. 4-8)