From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-The nameless protagonist in this picture book is a wallflower around other people, but alone, she blossoms with exuberant play and a vivid imagination. Quirky and endearing with her wild mop of black curls, pink high-tops, and struggle with shyness, she will appeal to readers who know what's budding inside them, but who aren't quite ready to open up. The illustrations alternately show the little girl's introverted behavior and her lone, free-spirited singing, dancing, stomping, and pretend-wrestling with wild animals. Spinelli's narrative is simple, lyrical, and written from the first-person perspective, giving the sense that the child is sharing her secrets with a trusted friend. She is accompanied throughout by a charming cat whose actions and expressions mirror her own-perfect, given the feline tendency to be reserved between bursts of energy. In the end, readers are introduced to the girl's shy friend, Loretta. They buoy one another when they are out and about, and they appreciate sharing quiet time, too. Johnson's illustrations are dynamic, done in a palette of earthy colors and filling the pages with likable faces and activity. This is a wonderful book for reassuring a quiet kiddo that she is special, and that the world will be happy to know her, too, when she is ready to introduce herself.-Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, ARα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In this picture-book paean to being introverted, a shy mop top celebrates her discovery that it’s easy to shine at any endeavor when you’re not the focus of attention. When she’s alone, the little girl dances, shoots basketball hoops, and sings; but when people are around, she hides away. Luckily she has an equally shy friend, and together both can be exuberantly themselves: “Together Loretta and I / are cozy and comfy. / We’re no longer shy.” The book’s appeal is heightened by ink-and-watercolor illustrations capturing the child’s focus on herself in whatever situation she’s in. Against a gritty, marbled background in a variety of earth tones, her bright tunic and white-soled shoes always stand out. Meanwhile, the people she retreats from are limited to washed-out blues and tans. In most frames the child is accompanied by a slinky cat—the introvert’s pet of choice! Young wallflowers will see themselves in the familiar situations portrayed, and feel fortified by the notion there are others who think as they do. Preschool-Grade 2. --Karen Cruze