Monday, August 1, 2011

Happiness is...a good book. (Summer Reading edition #36)

Author: Erica S. Perl
Illustrator: Julia Denos
Pages: 32
Age Range: 3+
Published: 2010
Genre: Picture Book
Cover Score: ****
Overall Grade: ****
Rating: G

Ida is on her way to school with a new lunch box and her friend Dotty. Dotty is her invisible friend who fits right in with the other friends in Ida’s class (Max had sea serpents named Pete and Repeat, Benny’s friend Spike looks a bit like an armadillo.) But when winter break is over Dotty is the only friend who comes back to class and many of the children make fun of Ida and her babyish ways. Under a bit of peer pressure Ida tries to send Dotty on her way but Dotty refuses to leave and instead chases after the girls who are making fun of Ida and knocks one to the ground. Their teacher makes them apologize to each other and convinces Ida to find a way to better control Dotty when she confesses that she has an invisible friend of her own.

This is a darling little twist on the concept of an invisible friend with validation for those kids who just haven’t quite outgrown their need for one yet. The lovely illustrations of Ms. Denos are the perfect addition to the simple text. Ida has a smattering of freckles across her pert nose, choppy (verging on the look of self-cut) hair, and a brilliant sense of style. And Dotty is gigantic and bright and playfully cumbersome.

I first fell in love with her work in her gorgeous autobiography of Audrey Hepburn, Just Being Audrey (written by Margaret Cardillo), and will be watching for more from her in the future. 
(Isn't that just perfect? And who doesn't need a bit more Audrey in their lives?) 

Or you can check out her website where she blogs about her artistic process and all the fun happenings in her life. If you ever need a bit of cheering up or some inspiration, this is the place to go.

Are there any authors/illustrators/famous people whose blogs you stalk/follow? Who are your favorites?


  1. Thanks so much for your lovely review of DOTTY! Perhaps you'd like to read WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU O.J. next, in honor of the dog days of summer?


  2. My pleasure. It's a lovely book! "When Life.." is on hold at the library even as we speak. I've heard great things and I'm Looking forward to it.
    Thanks for the comment. (It's nice to know I'm not the only person who reads my blog! :)