Young Eleanor Sue loves to play dress-up on Saturdays, and her mother plays along perfectly.
Dark type in a large font proclaims against the faded gold wallpaper of a room filled with clothes: “Today is Saturday, Eleanor Sue’s favorite day to do her favorite thing—play dress-up.” The little girl is wearing an olive-green dress and appears ready to add still more brush strokes to a ridiculously large, bouffant hairdo. She leaves through her bedroom window, grabbing a garden gnome on the way, and appears at the front door. She introduces herself as Mrs. McMuffins, a new neighbor, and then spouts off an absurd list of problems she’s identified in her new neighborhood. Eleanor Sue’s mother offers tea and listens, straight-faced, to such absurdities as how the sun in the window forces Mrs. McMuffins to wear sunglasses at nap time, and how her eyebrows hurt. Tusa’s trademark pen-and-ink drawings with watercolor washes complement the lighthearted mood of the text. Each of Eleanor Sue’s quick changes—which include a witch, a wizard, a bear, and more—leads to another funny conversation with her mother, along with plenty of exciting vocabulary (“prosperous,” “ferocious,” “centaur,” “equator”) and imaginative ideas. There is also a good deal of humorous action between that bedroom window and the front door. For example, how fast can a “cat” change into another costume and back again? The ending is unexpected—and equal in caliber to the entire book’s warmth and whimsy. Both Eleanor Sue and her mother present white.
Refreshingly simple, humorous, and playful. (Picture book. 4-8)