Francesca Rusackas, Author, Priscilla Burris, Illustrator , illus. by Priscilla Burris. HarperCollins $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-050276-8

If Mama, Don't Go Out Tonight (reviewed below) explores the fear of Mom leaving the nest, this book gently explores the idea of a child heading out to school for the first time. How will Owen the pig survive a whole day at preschool without his mother? Not to worry, says apple-cheeked Mommy: all Owen has to do is remember that she'll love him "all day long." As his mother imagines him at various points in the day ("I love you when you make a new friend"; "I love you when you march to a clang-clickity-clang" as he bangs the cymbals), Burris (Kate and Nate) presents the series of scenarios with humor and affection. She renders the porcine cast in a glowing shade of peach—a warmhearted visual foil for the bright, bold colors of Owen's preschool world. Many of the author's scenarios focus on mishaps ("I love you when you accidentally make a mess or when you can't wait for the bathroom"), but overall, the volume sends a reassuring message that parents love their children even while they are apart. As for the young hero, his pudgy physique and extensive repertoire of expressions makes him a credible stand-in for any human youngster with start-of-school anxieties. Ages 3-5. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/28/2002
Release date: 12/01/2002
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-06-050278-2
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-0078-3
Library Binding - 1 pages - 978-0-06-050277-5
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