Mad at Mommy

Komako Sakai, Scholastic/Levine, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-545-21209-0
This honest account of a small rabbit's angry outburst and the contrast between the adorable protagonist and his simmering emotions demonstrate Sakai's (The Snow Day) uncanny ability to tap into children's feelings. "And you always tell me to hurry up—hurry up—hurry up—but then you never hurry up yourself," the small rabbit complains, toiling over a plate of spaghetti, being pulled along by his mother's hand, and then sitting stranded on the sidewalk while his mother chats with a neighbor. Later, he lies on his mother's bed, arms crossed tightly, eyes narrowed, ears limp with despair: "And—And—And—And—" he falters, before venturing into deeper waters: "And you say you can't marry me, not even when I get bigger." Sakai's wedding portrait of son and mother is a priceless mixture of humor and pathos, the small rabbit a pint-size, suspendered, and bowtied groom, the bride so big that only her wedding dress–clad torso fits on the page. Sakai's artwork, densely stroked in pastel shades, mirrors the many layers of the rabbit's emotions. A nuanced vision of a child's mercurial inner life. Ages 3–7. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/27/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
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