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More of a storybook than a craft how-to (young crafters can take comfort in the link to a website with instructions for making the crafts depicted), this vignette features a young girl dealing with feelings of inadequacy, peer pressure, and birthday-gift one-upmanship. Chloe isn't very good at sports, video games, or dance; she excels, however, at making clothes and other crafty pursuits. She fears her homemade gift will never measure up to glamor gal London's fancy purchased doll, but in true happy-ending fashion, it's the dress and doll bed Chloe makes that save the day at the birthday party. Pencil-and-digital art in pastel colors render the everygirl drama in an accessible, cartoon style. The girls' facial expressions are priceless, especially when they face off across paragraphs, London looking scornful on the left and Chloe with an exaggerated blase shrug on the right. A pleasant girl-centric story ideal for those beginning to make the leap from shorter picture books.--Foote, Diane Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Chloe can stitch and glue like nobody's business. She makes fetching hats out of coffee filters (Mom, who clearly need her caffeine, is not amused). She designs dapper clothes for her dog, who promptly assumes a swinger's swagger. And she embellishes her baby brother with googly eyes because, as DiPucchio (Zombie in Love) explains in a gently precocious tone, they make "anything... less boring." While it's smart to tap into the Etsy zeitgeist, this story of an ingenious heroine relies on some inelegant ideas. Why does Chloe have to be a loser at everything but crafting? Why is her nemesis a standard-issue fashionista who thinks crafting is declasse (and is, of course, won over)? Luckily, Ross, a crafter herself, saves the premise with her sprightly cartooning and evident sympathies for her heroine. The book is at its best capturing Chloe in full DIY mode, totally focused on creating something fabulous from the supplies scattered in front of her. Anyone wanting to teach a child the rewards of being "in the zone" should just open the book to one of those pages. Ages 4-8. Agent: Writers House. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal
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K-Gr 2-Chloe isn't good at sports, video games, or dancing. Her forte is making things, from coffee-filter hats to outfits for her dog. However, when it comes time to get a birthday present for her best friend, Emma, she goes shopping. She zeroes in on the perfect gift, Violet, a Flower Girl doll, when another child, London, informs her she has already purchased it for Emma. Although London says this "extra sweetly," the expression on her face, as well as her dog's, tells a different story. When Chloe says she will make Emma something instead, London is nasty and derisive. However, when the doll comes to grief on the way to the party, Chloe's homemade creation saves the day, and London's derision turns to praise. While Chloe is a likable character, her excessive concern over the birthday present (going so far as to feign illness to avoid the party) is unrealistic, as is London's instant transformation. While Ross's digitally colored pencil illustrations add some humor to the story, this is strictly an additional purchase.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.