K-Gr 2-Ross and Barron, creators of Eggbert, the Slightly Cracked Egg (Putnam, 1994), present the story of a red-and-black bowling ball that yearns to fly. Although Irma does finally get off the ground, the book never does. The colored-pencil and acrylic-wash artwork is similar to that in Eggbert, but here it appears flat, failing to convey a sense of humor or excitement. Libraries will want to strike Irma and perhaps purchase another copy of Eggbert instead.-Lisa Falk, Los Angeles Public Library
Irma has a dream. Irma wishes to fly. Trouble is, Irma's a bowling ball and lacks that certain something in the aerodynamic department. But ever since she saw a balloon and mistook it for one of her own, she becomes so obsessed with flying that her game slips a notch, and she is traded in for a new ball. Abandoned to the used-ball rack, fate enters Irma's life in the shape of a young girl. She picks Irma up, fumbles, and Irma takes wing, as it were: down the bannister, through the window, launched on a path that ultimately leads to the seat of an amusement park plane. After a few rounds, Irma is distracted by the sight of a floating beachball in the ocean. Readers are left with little doubt that Irma will weave that dream, too. Ross and Barron (Eggbert, 1994) suggest that dreams don't come easy, but Irma's flight is a high-concept, one- joke idea, less a picture book than a series of static paintings for a story that never gets off the ground.