Rich Torrey, Author, Richard L. Torrey, Author, Richard L. Torrey, Illustrator . Harper $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-156170-2

Torrey's affecting portrait of a small boy is made up almost entirely of questions, all of which begin with “Why?” Torrey (Almost ) paints Jack's world with gentle colors and softly brushed forms: his suburban house with its yellow siding, his small white dog, and the posters on his basketball-playing older brother's wall. “Why can't I come in?” Jack asks as his older brother puts his shoulder against his bedroom door to keep him out. “Why doesn't hair hurt when you cut it?” he asks at the barber's; his brother rolls his eyes. But Jack isn't just cute or just annoying; he's doing his best to understand the world, and Torrey's sensitivity brings Jack's feelings home to readers. Discovering the family goldfish belly up, he embraces his mother in tears: “Why?” And when his brother attempts to console him, Jack asks acutely, “Why do you care?” But he's soon back to form, asking why he has to take a bath and go to bed. It's a perceptive double portrait of an irritating little brother—and the irritating problem of being a little brother. Ages 4–8. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/19/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
Hardcover - 40 pages - 978-0-06-156171-9
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