A Most Unusual Day

Sydra Mallery, illus. by E.B. Goodale. . Greenwillow, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-236430-2
Everything is off-kilter for Caroline from the moment Grandma wakes her. In their rush for the bus, they forget her socks and her lunch box (“Her feet were sweaty and she had to eat school lunch”); she overfeeds the class goldfish; and she spills the paint water while cleaning up the art center. Small moments offer clues for all of this discombobulation: at lunch, Caroline lines up a tiny pea next to mom-, dad-, and daughter-sized stalks of broccoli, and in class, she practices feeding a baby doll. At last, her parents arrive carrying a “bundle from far, far away”—a new baby sister, who immediately grasps Caroline’s finger, winning her over. Mallery, a poet, makes expert use of rhythm and repetition to give a palpable sense of Caroline’s anxiety, anticipation, and final acceptance, while Goodale’s (Windows) standout ink-and-watercolor digital collages reflect both the particulars of a child’s world and the sweeping enormity of her feelings. An adoption story from the fresh viewpoint of an older sister, Mallery’s debut captures a child’s universal feelings with remarkable warmth and sensitivity. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Douglas Stewart, Sterling Lord Literistic. Illustrator’s agent: Lori Kilkelly, Rodeen Literary Management. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/07/2018
Release date: 04/01/2018
Genre: Children's
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