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From the Birdie series

by Sujean Rim & illustrated by Sujean Rim

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Sept. 5th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-316-13287-9
Publisher: Little, Brown

A young fashionista finds the perfect fit.

Birdie steps away from trendy footwear (Birdie's Big-Girl Shoes, 2009) when she realizes her too-snug party dress simply won't do. This birthday girl models an array of choices at the nearby boutique (“fabulously frilly sundress,” “lacy sheath” and “gauzy gown” included) but none feel "just like her." A return trip home and up the attic stairs reveals eclectic finery to suit the event—and her personality to boot. It's refreshing that Birdie's posh mom (her elongated figure emphasizes each sophisticated move) is far from rigid; this supportive parent encourages her daughter's mismatched ensemble, a hodgepodge of her grandpa's vest and bow-tie with flowing, boldly pattered skirt and whimsical, floral head-piece. As Birdie shimmies into each potentially restrictive outfit, Rim's illustrations capture each half-hearted shrug and sucked-in breath. Collage and watercolor accents lend a sensory feel to chromatic, textured design, though it's a pity the narration does not match the illustrations' or its subject's exuberance. The inclusion of Birdie's friends appears as an afterthought, but canine companion Monster remains a supportive secondary choice, dressed to the nines in his top hat to rave reviews (“Monster felt so… dapper!”).

A modest call to individuality. (Picture book. 3-5)