Harold Snipperpot's Best Disaster Ever
tr. from Italian by Edward Gauvin. illus. by Beatrice Alemagna. 48p. HarperCollins/Harper. Feb. 2019. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062498823.
PreS-Gr 2—Harold Phillip Snipperpot is turning seven and expects another terrible birthday with no festivities. His parents are sticks-in-the-mud, with no idea of the kind of celebration that would make Harold's year. So, they call in Mr. Ponzio, the neighborhood problem-solver. Mr. Ponzio brings a veritable zoo to Harold's fancy digs and, boy, do the animals cause a ruckus. Harold takes matters into his own hands and saves his parents' lives and their marriage, too. Alemagna's striking mixed media illustrations have a 3-D look, reminiscent of Brian Wildsmith's work. Close inspection reveals intricate patterns and humorous details, like a tutu on an armadillo and a coat hanger dangling from a goat's horn. Gauvin's translation loses none of the humor conveyed in the text. The setting could be any major metropolitan city, but every child can relate to Harold's wish for something spectacular on his birthday.
VERDICT Pair this title with When's My Birthday by Julie Fogliano for a winning storytime. Highly recommended.

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