When a girl sees a diamond ring fall through a hole in a man’s jacket pocket, she catches it on a bounce and pulls her mom along city streets in an attempt to return it.
There’s a charming counting theme afoot. Four babies and five frisky dogs present obstacles to “one brave girl” in her pursuit of that bouquet-bearing young man. She loses sight of him but makes a deduction and enters a park’s rose garden. She “tiptoes eight soundless steps… // …while the man checks his pockets / nine frantic times.” As the desperate gent “sheds ten small tears,” the girl, hidden behind a hedge, cannily drops the lost ring “right under his nose.” Géser’s digitally augmented, naïve watercolors depict pale, generic vehicles and simple, cartoonish faces. City grays and browns contrast with bursts of red: the girl’s coat, a stop sign, roses and even the young man’s hair. Mission accomplished, the girl leads her mom on once more. In the final double-page spread, she stands in a bakery, holding a cupcake and gazing upward. A fancy three-tiered wedding cake is decorated with roses—and topped with a bride and groom who look an awful lot like the newly engaged couple smiling through the window.
Children will enjoy the spirit of the chase (and an easily spotted black cat on each spread) in this pleasant introduction to courtship conventions. (Picture book. 3-6)