Eve Bunting, Author, Suzanne Bloom, Illustrator , illus. by Suzanne Bloom. Boyds Mills $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59078-075-6

Children preparing for an author visit at school will welcome this volume. Bunting and Bloom (previously teamed for Girls: A–Z ) proffer a title that actually has three meanings. "My special day" refers to the narrator, a boy whose class has invited Miss Amanda Drake, a famous children's book author, for a visit; to Miss Drake herself, who has a wonderful time with the class; and, finally, to the book that Miss Drake writes based on her Third Street experience ("We love the dedication:/ To all the kids at Third Street School / with love and admiration "). The story opens with everyone "in a state/ of great anticipation!": "We make a list of questions/ that we'll ask Amanda Drake./ Our teacher says 'Don't ask her,/ 'How much money do you make?' " Miss Drake quickly has the class eating out of her hand. She regales them with an insider's look at the creative process ("It doesn't seem like work/ if you are loving what you do"), cheerfully holds the class snake and proves she's way cool by stating that she owns a pet rat. Bloom stumbles somewhat in composing her watercolors—in aiming for classroom bustle, she fails to provide a focal point for many of the pictures. But the enthusiastic verse smooths over the visual rough spots, and Miss Drake emerges as a most approachable literary diva—a genial bohemian with electric white-and-pink hair, a kind gaze and a repertoire of dramatic gestures. Ages 5-up. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/09/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
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