cover image Sunny-Side Up

Sunny-Side Up

Jacky Davis, illus. by Fiona Woodcock. Greenwillow, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-257307-0

It starts out as a promising morning for a child, with a father-made breakfast of sunny-side up eggs and a grape juice chaser: “Yes! Purple lips and happiness.” But when Daddy raises the shades, there’s no sunshine outside, just “drips of gray sky covering everything,” writes Davis (the Ladybug Girl series). In Woodcock’s (Look) digitally enhanced rubber stamp, pencil, and watercolor illustrations, even the living room is drenched in mottled, dreary tones. Through a combination of her own ingenuity and parental nudging, the white-skinned, red-nosed child comes up with activities to make time pass, such as opening a pretend-play bakery for stuffed companions (“I make./ I make make-believe muffins and pies./ Ones that you might like to try?”), and an internal sunniness returns in fits and starts. Stippled with subtle textures, the settings always seem on the verge of dematerializing, underscoring the tenuousness of the child’s mood. When the child’s mother returns, the sun does emerge—and soon, the whole day is no more than a dream. Readers should appreciate this realistic take on how much emotional stamina can be required to make it through a day gone wrong. Ages 4–8. [em](Feb.) [/em]