Isabella: Girl on the Go

Image of Isabella: Girl on the Go
Author(s): 
Release Date: 
February 1, 2012
Publisher/Imprint: 
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Pages: 
32
Reviewed by: 

“That purple-haired Isabella playing in the sandbox is NOT a little girl; she’s an archeologist ready to explore the pyramids of Egypt—and that’s just for starters. . . . Mr. Litwin likes to exaggerate as much as Isabella; he gives the imp an impossibly broad face and ears shaped like miniature cup handles. We see her imagination bouncing . . .”

That purple-haired Isabella playing in the sandbox is NOT a little girl; she’s an archeologist ready to explore the pyramids of Egypt—and that’s just for starters.

As in Ms. Fosberry’s initial Isabella book (My Name Is Not Isabella, 2010), the tiny heroine’s vicarious adventures unfold in the course of a lighthearted repartee between parent and child.

Whereas in the first book, Isabella temporarily traded her identity for that of various renowned women, now she insists she’s in some famous part of the world. From the Great Wall of China to the Statue of Liberty, Isabella’s imagination unspools with a string of fanciful reasons as to why she cannot help her father with such chores as gardening and painting the stockade fence. Each time, he responds with good-natured puns that twine with her chosen
exploit.

Wit suffuses this brief, admittedly formulaic story situated in a child’s suburban backyard and home. Mr. Litwin likes to exaggerate as much as Isabella; he gives the imp an impossibly broad face and ears shaped like miniature cup handles. We see her imagination bouncing from her tree-house ladder to the steps of a Mayan temple. Her sandbox creations morph into pyramids, with the Sphinx bearing an amusing resemblance to her stuffed mouse, with its curled black tail and fuchsia button eyes. And when Isabella asserts she is an artist, Oh la la!, the illustrator shows that toy mouse sitting at a small, round table with a cup of steaming coffee in his hand and a black beret on his blue head.

Young and old will laugh when they light upon the insouciant expression in his eyes.

Following the cozy conclusion, the author supplies readers with information and small photos on the eight places mentioned in the book, as well as a bibliography to assist young readers raring for more substantial global expeditions.