Pink Me Up by Charise Mericle Harper (author of When Randolph Turned Rotten and Just Grace) is about a young bunny excited to go with her mother to the "3rd Annual Pink Girls Pink-nic", a celebration of femininity and pinkness. Imagine the young one's dismay when her mother comes down with pink spots, and is unable to attend. When Daddy offers to step in, the young heroine, Violet, is quite skeptical ("Daddy! You're a boy!"). But Harper demonstrates the lengths that some daddies will go to, to keep their little girls from being disappointed.
The results are heart-warming, but too funny to be cloying. Seriously - just wait until you see the perfectly pink version of Daddy, and the pink versions of their daddies that the other girls imagine, too. It's fun stuff, sure to please any little girl going through her pink phase.
Violet bears a slight resemblance to Babymouse, particularly when she's imagining possible substitute Pink-nic chaperones ("A fairy princess?"). I like her mixture of melodrama (crying on the floor), matter-of-factness ("Pinky (the cat) is the only other girl in our house. Pinky will not get dressed up. I have tried that before."), and creativity.
Harper's acrylic illustrations are spare in terms of details, but laced with pink decorations and dress-up textures. Many of the illustrations feature Violet's carrot-shaped doll, which I found an entertaining touch. The section in which Daddy is "pinked up" are like a how-to manual, with simple panels reminiscent of paper dolls. I think that the graphic arts feel of the illustrations (as compared to, say, swirly, sparkly, paintings) helps keep Pink Me Up safely on the entertaining side, and away from the sentimental.
I enjoyed Pink Me Up, and I think that girls just starting elementary school will, too. Recommended for "pink" fans of all ages, and the Daddies who love them.
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 23, 2010
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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