DELPHINE DENISE AND THE MARDI GRAS PRIZE | Kirkus Reviews
Every year Delphine Denise, presenting as Black, and a group of friends (Anna Louise, Xavier, and Theodore) march in the Mardi Gras parade. They decorate their bikes with balloons and purple, gold, and green streamers, and together they bake and enjoy king cake. When they learn that the grand prize for the best Mardi Gras float is a crown, Delphine Denise becomes obsessed with winning. Anna Louise, Xavier, and Theodore are not concerned with victory and merely want to hang out. When the big day arrives, Delphine Denise steers a towering float along the route until it begins to topple. Stuck in the middle of the street with a busted float, Delphine Denise spots Xavier, Anna Louise, and Theodore having fun and brainstorms a way to salvage the day. This book lacks appeal for readers who are not familiar with Mardi Gras. The illustrations do a fine job of incorporating the colors of Mardi Gras, but the scenes of the parade are sparse and uninteresting. The text notes that “crowds on both sides of the street are ready to catch colorful beads and shiny coins,” but the few people in those spreads can hardly be considered a crowd—something child readers will certainly notice.