cover image Mail Harry to the Moon!

Mail Harry to the Moon!

Robie H. Harris, , illus. by Michael Emberley. . Little, Brown, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-316-15376-8

”Mail Harry to the moon!” is just one of the suggestions made by the narrator, who's suffering the displacement blues since the arrival of his annoying, attention-hogging baby brother. “Before Harry, nobody but me sat on Grandma's lap,” he mourns. “Yesterday, Harry did. So I said, 'Put Harry back inside Mommy.' ” But when the boy believes that Mommy and Daddy really have taken him up on the moon idea, his attitude changes dramatically. Harris and Emberley (Happy Birth Day! ) are old hands at striking the right balance between comic Sturm und Drang and genuine poignancy, and their considerable talents make this otherwise familiar tale feel fresh and funny—and psychologically true. Emberley's cartooning brims with terrific shtick—he gives the hero some slow burns and outbursts worthy of Ralph Kramden. Kids will particularly appreciate Emberley's gift for staging: the final sequence, in which the narrator sets off for the moon (a laundry basket serves as rocket, a colander as space helmet), blows out any vestige of sentimentality with its full-throttle energy. Ages 3–6. (June)