by Victoria Kann (Author) Victoria Kann (Illustrator)
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K-Gr 2--Kann's latest early reader offers a conventional holiday-themed addition to the "Pinkalicious" series. Pinkalicious is thrilled when she draws her best friend, Molly, for the class "Secret Snowman," a holiday activity where each student makes a gift for a classmate. When Molly ruins her favorite sweater, Pinkalicious knows just what to make. However, knitting the perfect sweater in a week proves to be more challenging than anticipated. Luckily, with her family's help and a bit of creative thinking, Pinkalicious comes up with the perfect solution. Kann's illustrations are drawn from a predominantly pastel palette and are cheerful and bright, mirroring the tone of the text. Pinkalicious and her family are depicted as white, while Molly is Black, and the class includes a diverse range of students. The characters are rendered in a simple, flattish style, with clear facial expressions that help young readers interpret the story. The narrative is underpinned by some positive ideas, encouraging children not to fixate on perfection and promoting resourcefulness. However, it lacks originality overall, and the title page illustrations, which depict a delighted Molly wearing her uniquely ornamented sweater, considerably lessen suspense over how things will turn out. The somewhat pedestrian portmanteau words ("pinkamazing," "sparklerrific") also create additional challenge for emergent readers without adding real richness to the language. VERDICT Recommended primarily for existing fans of the "Pinkalicious" series, or where libraries are specifically seeking holiday books to support Secret Santa activities.--Leonie JordanCopyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.