Room for the Baby

Michelle Edwards, illus. by Jana Christy. Random, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-375-87090-3
“When somebody had something they didn’t need anymore, they gave it to my mom,” says the son of a master seamstress. “Everyone knew Mom would put it all to good use.” But when Mom announces at Passover that the narrator is going to be a big brother by Hanukkah—and that the baby’s room will be her former sewing room—the boy wonders if his mother has met her match: “Could Mom really use up all that stuff before the baby is born?” Unfortunately, it’s hard to believe readers will care all that much, especially since the narrator’s role in the resolution is minimal and the enviable sewing room is hardly a hoarder’s den—how much room does a baby need, anyway? Edwards (The Hanukkah Trike) and Christy (You Are the Best Medicine) offer a sweet-natured chronicle of a mother’s ingenuity and the collective joy shared by a tight-knit community at the prospect of a new arrival. But with Mom so unflappable and no displacement anxiety on the part of the boy, the narrative stakes are low and emotions remain even-keeled. Ages 3–6. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/30/2012
Release date: 09/25/2012
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