Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too

Anna Dewdney, Author
Anna Dewdney. Viking, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-670-01227-5
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Nelly Gnu, a classmate to Dewdney’s mercurial Llama Llama, steps out on her own in this father-daughter outing. Nelly is far calmer than Llama Llama, so there isn’t any real “llama drama” (or would that be “gnu ado”?) in this story, which has Nelly and her father building a cardboard playhouse, then heading to the hardware store for supplies to decorate it. It’s there that the story’s only moment of alarm takes place: running to retrieve a dropped toy, Nelly gets separated from Daddy Gnu, a situation that’s quickly resolved when he scoops her up on the following page. (Dewdney offers a reassuring father’s-eye view of the reunion, creating a real sense of relief on Nelly’s part.) The cheery rhymes and thickly painted artwork are in line with the look and mood of Dewdney’s Llama Llama books, always emphasizing the warm bond between father and daughter. Nelly never gets much of a chance to exhibit much personality, though; more than anything, this is a Father’s Day–ready vehicle to showcase an involved and attentive parent. Ages 3–5. Agent: Deborah Warren, East-West Literary Agency. (May)
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