Caterina and the Best Beach Day (Erin Eitter Kono, Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015)
Caterina did not disappoint this fan – she remained true to her character in this third book in the series, having planned and programmed a full day at the beach with her little brother, Leo. All that Leo wants to do is see a whale, but Caterina is too busy to help him look for one. Children will enjoy spotting the whales that Caterina misses and studying the mixed-media, collage-like illustrations. The message in this book will resonate with many busy parents; Leo’s expressions, changing from excited, to hopeful, to forlorn, served as a heart-tugging reminder to me to do less and ‘be’ more. Caterina is becoming a favourite picture book character in my house – I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book in this series!
Caterina and the Perfect Party (Erin Eitter Kono, Dial Books for Young Readers, 2013)
Caterina is planning the perfect party down to the last detail – there will be NO surprises. When her party is literally turned upside down by inclement weather, she learns that being with friends is all you need to have fun and that some surprises are surprisingly delightful (mud-dipped worms, anyone?). One of my daughters is a perfectionist to the point that it prevents her from doing things, so Caterina and the Perfect Party is a favourite picture book for me to read to her. Following her sidekick, a little chick, from page to page adds a significant cute factor to the beautiful and detailed illustrations. I have recently learned that there are other “Caterina” books by the same author – I am off to find them and will report back as to whether or not they too are recommended picture books!