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DEAR DAISY DUNNINGTON by Mathilde Stein Kirkus Star


by Mathilde Stein & illustrated by Chuck Groenink

Age Range: 7 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-935954-18-7
Publisher: Lemniscaat USA

Downtrodden Daisy imagines a much less restricted life for herself in amusing and ultimately hopeful ways.

She’s down the apartment stairs at the front door. There’s a letter for her on the doormat. A hectoring voice from above harangues her about doing this and not doing that. On each successive spread is a formal letter, and each letter tells readers a little more about Daisy and a lot about the strength of her imagination. Batisto Giovanni Prospero Carlotti wants her to join his circus, as her balance while washing windows enchants him. A sheik proposes marriage. Sir Hubert Tatter Tawdry-Tout admits she was accidentally switched at birth, and the queen herself will come to bring her to the palace. A group of aliens are taken with her sweet singing voice, and their letter inviting her to come to their planet and sing to them is done in pictures. Each of the letters is fulsomely illustrated with rich detail and rubbery figures; Mel Glitzstein’s invitation for Daisy to star in Wrath of the Mummy waggishly depicts an Indiana Jones–type escape with a Peter Jackson/Martin Scorsese–ish director calling the shots. In the end, clutching the still-unopened missive in her hand, she goes off without her coat or her bag or any of her mother’s vitriol.

It’s an odd and very European tale, and a very brave one. (Picture book. 7-12)