Robie H. Harris, Author, Harry Bliss, Illustrator , illus. by Harry Bliss. Candlewick $15.99 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7636-1782-0

Treading on some familiar ground, Harris's (Happy Birth Day! ) energetic story offers a voluble child's views about being left with a baby-sitter. Faced with the prospect of Mommy and Daddy going out for the evening, a girl pulls out all the stops to prompt a change in plans: "If you go out tonight, I'll get a very bad tummy ache—and I'll throw up!"; "If you really, really love me, you'll take me with you"; etc. The girl's logic, threats and bold entreaties don't sway the adults; and baby-sitter Sarah soon arrives. Since Sarah is "so-ooo cool," the young charge sheds her angry feelings during a night of fingernail painting and pizza. Harris gets all the childhood emotions right, and by creating parents who have seen it all before, she helps paint a humorous family portrait that many readers will recognize. Bliss (A Fine, Fine School ) skillfully matches Harris's tone, simultaneously illustrating the heroine's wildly imagined scenarios and the reality of her unruffled parents' preparations for a night on the town. The ink-and-watercolor compositions depict some finely appointed rooms filled with artwork, as well as a cozy child's bedroom—a deft balance of homey-ness and sophistication. Ages 3-up. (Feb.

Reviewed on: 02/02/2004
Release date: 02/01/2004
Hardcover - 40 pages - 978-0-394-83849-6
Hardcover - 30 pages - 978-0-439-80938-2
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