From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Caterina, a small, brown, bright-eyed bird, is very organized and proud of it. She loves making lists to ensure everything turns out exactly the way she intends, because the one thing she cannot abide is a surprise. Though she meticulously plans and makes preparations, with assistance from her little brother, for a party in the park, with thoughtful invitations, decorations, and food, the festivities do not turn out as she imagines. How friends help her deal with disappointment shows that surprises can be pleasant and spontaneity may lead to unforgettable experiences. Charming mixed-media illustrations are the highlight of the simple story, which doesn't break new ground, but imparts lessons gently. Readers will want to spend time perusing the intricate details in the pictures, which include postage stamps, floss, fabric, textures, and photographs.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WIα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The star of Kono’s latest is a little brown bird who behaves like a creative little girl, making crafts and lists out of her “great big colorful thoughts.” With huge blue glasses and a pink flower in her hair, Caterina takes center stage as she plans her first party. Kono fills the jubilant pages with diverting multimedia scenes: Caterina’s many lists and pieces of memorabilia, the elaborate decorations and invitations she makes for the party, and the food she prepares. Her lists are fun to read, especially her annotated guide to her friends and the “things not to love” list: “surprises, surprises, surprises.” Unfortunately, Caterina plans the entire outdoor bash without thinking about the weather, so all seems ruined when the huge (but prettily patterned) rain cloud moves in. Thankfully, Caterina’s friends come to the rescue, with each bringing something for a new party, giving Caterina the opportunity to learn the pleasure of a good surprise. A nice message with a buoyant delivery. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Abby Nolan