SMILE, LILY!

Candace Fleming, Author, Yumi Heo, Illustrator , illus. by Yumi Heo. Atheneum/Schwartz $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-689-83548-3

"Waa! Waa! Waa! Lily keeps on crying. Oh, who knows what to do?" The strategies of Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle each prove ineffective (Grandma changes Lily's diaper, then nibbles her granddaughter's feet and declares she smells "delicious"). Just when matters look desperate (" 'Call the doctor!' Mommy panics... Grandma says a little prayer"), newly minted Lily's big brother, who's been calmly watching the futile attempts, solves the problem. He tiptoes up to the baby and flashes her a big smile. "And with everybody smiling," writes Fleming (Muncha Muncha Muncha ), "Lily smiles too!" The familiar story of sibling empowerment becomes fresh and quirky given Heo's (Henry's First-Moon Birthday ) exuberant mixed-media collages and graphic sensibility. Her naïf-styled family inhabits a bright but definitely off-kilter world, where decorative motifs run riot and scale and gravity are fluid concepts; sometimes the characters swirl around the bawling Lily like anxious bees buzzing an uncooperative flower. It's a nifty visual translation of the way a cranky baby can turn an entire household topsy-turvy. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 03/15/2004
Release date: 02/01/2004
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