Curtis and Cornell pair up for their 10th outing to hilariously chronicle the many “firsts” their spunky, irreverent protagonist experiences.
With an abundance of kinky, sunny yellow hair and a face nimble with a variety of rapidly changing and humorously exaggerated facial expressions, a young girl blithely describes her initial feats: riding a two-wheeler, choosing a pet and picking up its poop, getting caught in a lie, going to work with Dad, attending ballet class and playing T-ball. The comic narrative moves forward with a choppy clip—some of the rhyming couplets are a tad forced or use odd phrasing: “I tried for the first time to taste my mom’s truffles / that apparently come from when pigs use their snuffles.” Some humor seems aimed at adults, but in the main, it employs the right amount of silliness, such as when milk squirts through her nose or when she becomes hopelessly tangled in her jump-rope. Also in the frenetic flurry of bright watercolor-and-ink images, readers learn about some homonyms and peruse a funny chart of the umpteen ways to “tie” shoes. Finally the girl comes to realize that “first things / first happen / when I’m brave, true, and strong.” Indeed.
Fans will enjoy the many laugh-out-loud scenes regardless of the less-than-smooth text. Get ready for an onslaught of enthusiastic requests. (Picture book. 4-7)