Lacking in focus and a sense of purpose, Hardy’s initially promising story of a sisterly squabble ultimately disappoints.
It’s Rose’s birthday, and she is hosting a fairy and princess party in which all guests must don pink wings and a tutu. Her somber sister Izzy refuses and decides to set up a spooky tea party of her own in the attic. She decorates with dead roses and spiders, invites her imaginary friend V and delights in the absolute un-pinkness of it all. Then Rose drops by to deliver some pink cupcakes, which Izzy rejects, and accidentally sits on V. The sisters get into a skirmish—Rose proclaiming that Izzy’s party is not a real tea party and Izzy insisting that Rose is not a real fairy. During a tussle over Rose’s magic wand, Izzy’s cat is turned into a pink dragon. Inexplicably, the sisters join forces at this point and decide to go down to Rose’s party after all, and it looks like the pink dragon will be joining them. The appealing illustrations, which successfully dramatize the sisters’ strikingly different tastes and personalities, may draw some readers to the story.
Unfortunately, the plot will only leave them wondering at the point of it all. (Picture book. 3-5)