Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Girls just wanna have fun


Pinkilicious returns for a third installment of this very popular uber-girly series. The endpapers feature the titular star, a pure white unicorn with perfect rouged cheeks and flowing golden locks bedecked with flowers sitting amidst gold and white lace doilies. The title page features the author’s thanks, with dozens of names of family, friends, editors and other supporters woven into a series of chiaroscuro pink hills.

The magazine collage-style computerized illustrations are heavy on the girly details. Page after page is cluttered with flowers, toys strewn about, tea sets and other such girlish accoutrements. Her pet unicorn, which only she can see, pales away to a ghostly translucent shade of white whenever her family is nearby. This device somewhat reminded me of Calvin and Hobbes… although this book is a great deal less tongue-in-cheek, keeping things pretty simple and syrupy sweet. Pinkalicious and her brother traipse after Goldilicious through a number of locales: a picnic with screamingly green grass and flowers crowding in at the edges, a kiddie-pool where Goldie has dolled herself up in movie-star sunglasses and a fancy mermaid tail, a ride on a gorgeously swagged orange hot air balloon.

When Goldilicious goes missing, the hunt is on. Clouds shaped like unicorns and huge equine constellations are overlooked, 'til Pinkilicious finally finds Goldie right where her parents hoped she would… in bed, as bedtime approaches. The message is clear. Goldilicious might be imaginary… but Pinkilicious and her invisible friend aren’t going to be parted anytime soon. 

Fans of the indefatigable Pinkilicious will find nothing to disappoint them here. Parents or teachers who are looking for stories about an imaginary friend may do better to turn to the quieter Jessica by Kevin Henkes or the offbeat Clara and Asha by Eric Rohmann. Girls looking for further stories featuring feminine adventurers will probably also appreciate the Fancy Nancy series by Jane O’Connor.

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