Two's Company: 9

Amanda Benjamin Cohen, Author, Amanda Benjamin, Author
Amanda Benjamin Cohen, Author, Amanda Benjamin, Author Viking Children's Books $13.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-670-84876-8
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
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Divorced (or otherwise single) parents intending to remarry might want to share this debut picture book with their children. With young Maddy as her narrator, Benjamin compassionately depicts a child's fear of losing a parent's love to another person. At first, Maddy lives alone with her artist mother; they sip hot tea together each morning, and Maddy plays in her backyard ``secret jungle'' while her mom paints. Then a third wheel, Simon, disrupts their twosome. Though Maddy likes the newcomer, she advises her mother against marrying him (""`Oh, I really don't think you should,' I said. ... And that was the end of that, I thought''). But when her mother goes against her wishes, Maddy decides to reciprocate with wedding plans of her own. Benjamin's loosely rendered watercolor-and-ink illustrations have a homey, carefree quality that complements the narrative's reassuring tone. While the story's resolution seems a trifle pat, Benjamin's mother-daughter exchanges have the ring of truth, and Maddy's imaginative scheme displays an especially childlike charm. Ages 3-8. (May)