cover image DON'T FORGET I LOVE YOU

DON'T FORGET I LOVE YOU

Miriam Moss, Author, Anna Currey, Illustrator , illus. by Anna Currey. Dial $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-2920-9

Moss's (The Snow Bear ) Valentine from mother to child follows a working parent trundling her lively bear cub to nursery school. The nostalgic watercolors bridge the gap between the demands of modern and old-fashioned worlds. British artist Currey portrays a timeless, idealized world, but includes enough familiar details to make the story feel contemporary. Billy's mother wears a granny apron in the kitchen and an ankle-length, flowered dress, but she also dons sensible shoes and carries a portfolio-sized purse. As the two eat breakfast and run through the rain to school, Billy blames his tardiness on his toy rabbit (e.g., "I think Rabbit's got a tummy ache"). Mama, late for work, abruptly leaves Billy at the school door; "Mama didn't say I love you," he sadly tells his teacher. Currey portrays the toddler-size tragedy through Billy's forlorn facial expressions and drooping posture as he searches in vain for his beloved rabbit. Luckily, his mother quickly returns with the rabbit in tow (she had tucked it into the purse to speed things along) and, most importantly, says, "I love you." Although the early scenes and dialogue seem occasionally stilted, the rapid resolution of the plot carries the reassuring message that although parents may make mistakes, their children's needs nearly always come first. Ages 2-up. (Jan.)