How to Party Hearty: Caterina and the Perfect Party by Erin Kone
A perfect party planner needs to be a bit of a control freak, and perky Caterina fits the job description to a C for compulsive. She begins, of course, with the necessary lists, including problems she hopes to avoid:
THINGS NOT TO LOVE
Craft-y Caterina pulls out her art supplies to provide perfect handmade invitations for the perfect list of party goers. She cuts and shapes lovely lanterns and drapes crepe from the trees, and in the kitchen she concocts delicious appetizers and delightful dishes. She even insists upon hand-folding the napkins in a novel style. Caterina proudly proclaims her party prep perfect!
NOTHING CAN GO WRONG!
But as young readers will have intuited by this point, Caterina's best-laid plans are about to bump up against the one thing that no perfect party-giver can control--the weather. A huge windstorm lays waste to her garden party venue. The decor is destroyed and her personalized party fare is soggy and inedible. It looks as if her perfect party is a woeful washout.
However, in Erin Eitter Kono's Caterina and the Perfect Party (Dial, 2013), it seems that Caterina got one thing right--the party goers! Her perfect party people pitch in, providing food and plenty of pep to make the impromptu party the best ever. Kono's strength here is not in her well-worn plot but in her charmingly earnest little main character, who after all, only wants to make her friends feel fully welcome in the way she knows best, and her carefully crafted collage illustrations, which incorporate photos, feathers, embroidery floss, fabric, and whatever the wind blows in, do make readers feel pictorially pampered. For a party-perfect pair, match this one with Karma Wilson's jolly party tale, Bear Says Thanks, (see review here) or another story of a perfectionist party-giver, Sarah Dillard's Perfectly Arugula (see my review here). Party down, everyone!
Labels: Parties--Fiction (Grades K-3)