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PATTI CAKE AND HER NEW DOLL by Patricia Reilly Giff


by Patricia Reilly Giff ; illustrated by Laura J. Bryant

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-545-24465-7
Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Giff’s rather wordy text about a little girl moving to a new room and a big bed may fail to keep young readers engaged, but Bryant’s watercolor-and–colored-pencil illustrations add a touch of sweet humor.

Patti Cake, dressed in a mix of pink and purple, is excited to get her very “own new room,” but when she goes to bed, the “greatly dark” space feels lonely. Unflappable babysitter Bella responds to this news with a trip to Mr. Herman’s Everything Store, where Patti Cake finds a doll with “frizzly hair and blush on one cheek.” When they get home, she discovers that the doll does not even have a belly button. A quick flick of a nail-polish brush seems to do the trick. Readers can foresee what happens next. The nail-polish spills; Patti Cake arouses Tootsie the dog from her nap in the bathtub; Tootsie tracks nail-polish paw prints all over. The spread with a close-up of the alarmed pup charms. After yet more mishaps, it is finally bedtime, and Patti Cake, the doll and Tootsie curl up in the no-longer-lonely room. Giff’s text both runs long and strains too hard to achieve a toddler voice; Patti Cake’s too-cute, declarative narration grows wearisome.

Books on moving to a bigger bed abound; this title does little to set itself apart. (Picture book. 3-5)