Thick purple outlines in illustrations in predominantly lavender shades, coupled with an imaginative storyline, bring to mind Harold and the Purple Crayon.
Here, a young girl in a multiracial family headed by two dads is reminded to not get “carried away,” which will sound familiar to energetic, inventive young readers and listeners. Harriet herself presents as black or possibly biracial; one dad appears to be black, the other white. Harriet loves costumes and dress-up play, which will be the theme of her upcoming birthday party. She even dresses as a penguin when she goes shopping for preparations. Fantasy takes flight when she meets actual penguins in the ice aisle at the store, and she’s literally carried away in hot air balloons with her newfound friends. A litany of adventures follows, including a ride on an orca and being carried away again, this time by pigeons who bring her back to the city, where her dads are still waiting at the deli counter. The flat, cartoon-style illustrations employ varying perspectives: a scene in a subway car is framed by a subway window–like border; the city is a double-page panorama shown from the sky when Harriet is carried by the pigeons; and so on.
Fancy and whimsy continue in the last spread: party guest Olivia attends in a wolf suit, accompanied by a pack of real (nonscary) wolves, all clearly getting carried away. (Picture book. 5-8)