This amusing chapter-book series opener follows two grade school sisters as they start their own donations-powered nail salon.
Fifth-grader Aly and her little sister, Brooke, a third grader, love helping out Mom in her thriving nail salon. Aly has become quite skilled in applying nail polish to Brooke’s fingers and toes, so when Jenica, an envied sixth grader and star of the school soccer team, asks for special, rainbow-sparkly toe polish, with her Mom’s permission Aly does her very best. If Jenica is pleased, more members of the team might want the same. When that happy event occurs, Aly and Brooke ask Mom for permission to start their own nail salon in the back of the store, asking for donations that will go to charity instead of direct payment for their work. All goes well until mean girl Suzy shows up and threatens to spread nasty rumors. Can the sisters keep their new business alive? Santopolo keeps the prose easily readable and the atmosphere light as she focuses on the girls’ creativity in setting up their salon. Simple characterizations come across well, and a touch of light suspense keeps things moving. The second book in the series, Purple Nails and Puppy Tails (978-1-4424-7384-3; 978-1-4424-7383-6 paper), in which the girls expand their clientele to dogs and rescue puppies, works as a companion to this one. The nicely original business plot may interest many young entrepreneurs.
Not just for lemonade-stand owners. (Fiction. 7-10)