Princess Pistachio Shoelace’s summer vacation is not starting out on a high note.
She has big plans to meet with her friends to search for treasure. But her mother insists that she must take her little sister, Penny, to the park. Penny is delighted, but Pistachio is definitely feeling put-upon. Penny, dressed in a bunny hat and a cape and perched in a wagon filled with toys and the dog, exhorts Pistachio to “giddy up.” The day goes from bad to worse, as Penny manages to cause a great deal of trouble, especially when Pistachio has momentary lapses of attention. Penny sneaks fruit from the grocer, Mr. Pomodoro, and Pistachio is blamed. Penny climbs a wall and falls off, into the garden of Mrs. Oldtooth, the neighborhood witch. When Penny swims in the park fountain and pulls out some coins, Pistachio is blamed again. It has been a decidedly unroyal day, and her frustration is compounded by their mother’s clueless reaction. In four breathless, fast-paced chapters, Gay once again weaves a frantically funny tale with deliciously named characters, while subtly recognizing some underlying concerns regarding sibling responsibility and difficulties with adult-child communication. Descriptive and age-appropriate language flows naturally and is in perfect tandem with the brightly hued illustrations that depict redheaded, freckle-faced Pistachio’s every changing emotion. Young readers will cheer for her.
Long live Princess Pistachio. (Early reader. 4-8)