Sunday, March 3, 2019

Review - Harriet Gets Carried Away

Harriet Gets Carried Away
by Jessie Sima
Date: 2018
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 48
Format: e-book
Source: library

From the author and illustrator of the bestselling Not Quite Narwhal comes a sweet and funny story about remembering where you belong, no matter how far you roam, or what you’re wearing when you get there.

Harriet loves costumes. She wears them to the dentist, to the supermarket, and most importantly, to her super-special dress-up birthday party. Her dads have decorated everything for the party and Harriet has her most favorite costume all picked out for the big day. There’s just one thing missing—party hats!

But when Harriet dons her special penguin errand-running costume and sets out to find the perfect ones, she finds something else instead—real penguins! Harriet gets carried away with the flock. She may look like a penguin, but she’s not so sure she belongs in the arctic. Can Harriet manage her way back to her dads (and the party hats!) in time for her special day?

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Harriet is a little girl who loves costumes. To prepare for her birthday party, she and her dads visit the store so they can pick up some last-minute items. Harriet wears her penguin costume (because that's what you wear when you have to run errands). In the freezer section, she encounters a whole bunch of penguins buying ice (I don't know why penguins would have to buy ice...) and she ends up going with them, getting into one of their hot-air balloons and sailing away over the sea. Realizing she's gotten carried away, she decides to go home... but that's easier said than done. She needs to enlist the help of a few friends to get back in time for her party, where almost nobody gets carried away in all the fun.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. But I enjoyed it more than I thought I might. Harriet's penchant for costumes is cute, and of course it makes sense that she has a costume party (she shares her costumes with her guests so nobody has to go without). Harriet's already an imaginative kid, and I guess the story is supposed to be more of her flights of fancy (after all, she left her dads at the deli counter, and they were still there when she "got back" from Antarctica). It's kind of fun to see this imaginative play shown in a more literal way. (And the ending, where her friend Olivia gets a little carried away, is amusing, too.)

I think this is a story that kids will probably enjoy. It's fun and silly and written quite well. I can't find much to complain about.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.83 out of 5

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