FICTION

Patti Cake and Her New Doll

illus. by Laura J. Bryant. 32p. Scholastic/Orchard. Jan. 2014. RTE $16.99. ISBN 9780545244657. LC 2012015712.
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PreS-Gr 1—A new bedroom, a new doll, and a mischievous dog create a simple tale about growing up. The first night in her big-girl room leaves Patti Cake lonely and uncertain as not even the dog will sleep in the "greatly dark." Her babysitter takes her on a "new-room" shopping trip, and Patti Cake chooses a slightly soiled doll that she mistakenly thinks is named On-Sale. What follows is an activity-filled day consisting of pink-nail-polish belly buttons, a doll-bathing experience gone wrong, and a celebration interrupted by the dog. On the second night in her new room, Patti Cake is more comfortable with her doll and her forgiven pooch nearby, while even the moon makes an appearance to lighten the mood. Large, sweet illustrations with ample white space show both a smiley child and her bedroom decked out in purples and pinks. Girls who are venturing into a new sleeping situation may find comfort in this reassuring story.—Maryann H. Owen, Children's Literature Specialist, Mt. Pleasant, WI
Since Patti has her "own new room," her babysitter (readers may wonder if Patti has parents) promises her a "new-room present," and at a store the next day Patti chooses a doll. Patti's narration is engaging, but the threads--coping with fear of the dark, protecting the doll from Patti's dog--seem slack. The illustrations exude calm, even during dog-initiated turbulence.

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