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SUNSHINE PICKLELIME by Pamela Ellen Ferguson


by Pamela Ellen Ferguson & illustrated by Christian Slade

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: June 22nd, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-375-86175-8
Publisher: Random House

Sunshine Picklelime, age unspecified, lives “in a village very close to you,” populated by affluent, high-tech professional families from across the globe. After Sunshine invites a songbird to live in her hair, she is saddened when it flies off to help clean up an offshore oil spill and see the world. Soon Sunshine will endure more losses, but not to worry: Her neighbors—blessed with the wisdom of their respective cultures and abundant free time—offer Sunshine plenty of support and ethnic cuisine. Earnest lessons on multiculturalism—characters are less individuals than extensions of their culture of origin, each with its unique religion, customs, food and attire—are interspersed with lessons highlighting the value of counseling, composting and not trashing the planet. What’s missing throughout is genuine storytelling, and lacking vivid characters or a plot that makes sense, the author’s gentle but incessant didacticism quickly grates. In this setting that’s more evocative of a luxury spa for the superrich than a real town, only Sunshine’s dad, unhappy and out of step, seems truly alive. (Fiction. 8-12)