Updated: Corrected author/illustrator name. Guess I need to quit putting off that eye appointment!
There were so many ways to start this post …
in the pink ~ perfectly pink ~ think pink
but Pinkalicious pretty much speaks for herself. The spunky, cupcake-loving little girl is you-know-who’s go-to friend when she needs a quick giggle. So when I saw that Pinkalicious: Pink around the Rink by Victoria Kann was nominated in the Cybils Easy Reader category, well I was … tickled pink.
Both Pinkalicious: Pink around the Rink and Pinkalicious: School Rules! are “level 1” easy readers. In the I Can Read! series, Level 1 is for beginning readers, with “simple sentences for eager new readers.” Girls who loved listening to other Pinkalicious stories will jump at the chance to read a new, original story on their own.
As is true with all of the books in the series, Victoria Kann offers young girls a little bit of idealism, a dash of fantasy, a dilemma, and a happy ending wrapped in simple, bright illustrations. Sappy? Maybe, but when your world is soft pink, it would be difficult to have anything but sweet! It probably won’t surprise you that my soon-to-be 9-year-old girly girl not only has worn through her copy of the original Pinkalicious book, but squeals with delight every time a new title arrives.
In Pink around the Rink, Pinkalicous has a brand new pair of ice skates. They fit well, but there is one problem … they aren’t pink. Our ever resourceful heroine fixes that by grabbing a magic marker and coloring them a perfect shade of pink (cotton candy to be exact). At the rink, Pinkalicious is having trouble getting used to the skates. She keeps falling down. Oh, no! Her beautiful pink ice skates are now splotchy – and look at the ice! Everybody knows how much she fell. She was sad until Mom pointed out that her skates created beautiful swirls around the ice. With some help from Daddy, she got back up and started skating again.
The challenge is a little bit different in School Rules! Pinkalicious liked school better when Goldilicious (her unicorn) was there. She made it through one day, but decided that she needed “Goldie” with her. Even though she knew unicorns weren’t allowed at school, they came together anyway. Everything was going well until Goldie ate the teacher’s apple. Then Pinkalicious had to confess. After talking with the school principal, Goldie was allowed to stay for the rest of the day … but Pinkalicious had to make sure Goldie followed the rules.
While both books are nice, I like Pink around the Rink better. When I think of easy readers – particularly the ones that have a sentence or two on each page – I think first grader, not brand new reader. The concept of taking an imaginary friend to school seems a little young for this audience. These are not books for readers just starting to build their sight vocabulary. While the illustrations allow readers to decode some of the words, readers will need to know some other basic strategies like letter sounds before feeling comfortable with these books. I also like that these are more monographs than series books. You don’t need to know a lot about Pinkalicious to enjoy the story.
In the process of writing the reviews for these two books, another package arrived at our house: Pinkalicious: The Perfectly Pink Collection. This is a boxed set with “three books, dozens of stickers, a color-it-yourself poster, and three double-sided crayons.” I have no doubt that this has been released in anticipation of holiday shopping. If you are looking for a gift that will grow with a young girly girl in your life, this may be one to consider. What I like about the set is that it combines books and activities, and includes two picture books (Pinkalicious Tickled Pink and Pinkalicious and the Pink Drink) and an easy reader (School Rules!) The picture books can start out as adult read-alouds, and School Rules! is available when she’s ready to start reading herself. Because the picture books come in at Flesh-Kincaid 1.6 and 2.4, respectively, you also have additional opportunities for independent read-alouds a little later on.
Independently or together, the Pinkalicious easy readers are solid choices. Unless you have a Pinkalicous fan in the house already, I’d recommend borrowing them from the library. NOT because they aren’t good, but because young readers will move through them fairly quickly. Pink’s friends will want to keep her around, acquaintances will be ready to meet new friends … like Clementine.
This is my review of Pinkalicious: Pink around the Rink. It does not reflect the opinion of the Cybils committee and should not be construed as a recommendation for the book.
Book titles and covers are linked to Amazon.com, with which we have an affiliate relationship. 100% of any income we earn from purchases through those links go to our literacy programs.