All by Myself!
Aliki. HarperCollins, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-028929-4
A perky preschooler (or kindergartner) flies solo through his daily routine in this upbeat offering, which begins with a wake-up visit from the boy's pet cat. As the child washes up, gets dressed, eats breakfast, plays at school, goes to the library, etc., he is pictured on his own. Only in frames depicting his drop-off at and pickup from school and at bedtime do his parents appear. The parents' limited role reinforces the book's celebration of children's independence, even if it sometimes presents a skewed perspective of age-appropriate autonomy. The text is simple and the picture clues are ample, but the verse's rhythm and rhyme scheme are intermittently forced (e.g., ""Right shoe, left shoe. Tie, comb, done! Breakfast's ready, pour, crunch, yum!""). Aliki's (William Shakespeare & the Globe) brightly hued, unadorned art convincingly conveys the protagonist's high energy and enthusiasm. A cheerful if minor addition to the author/artist's oeuvre. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/02/2000