cover image Here We All Are

Here We All Are

Tomie dePaola. Putnam Publishing Group, $13.99 (96pp) ISBN 978-0-399-23496-5

DePaola continues to share engaging childhood memories in this breezy follow-up to 26 Fairmount Avenue, his inaugural chapter book and a Newbery Honor title. Opening with a chatty tour of their just-completed house, the five-year-old narrator recalls trying out his mother's vanity table (""One day when no one was around, I sat there and put on my mother's lipstick, pretending to be Miss Mae West"") and trying to interpret his mother's statement that his new bedroom furniture was ""genuine maple"" (""When no one was looking, I licked the bedpost to see if it tasted like maple syrup""). The impish boy has some amusing run-ins with his kindergarten teacher, who makes the egregious mistake of passing him over for the title role in ""Peter Rabbit,"" the class play; Tomie in retaliation hams it up and hogs the spotlight as Flopsy. But at the heart of this volume is the pending arrival of a sibling, whom the boy insists will be a baby sister ""with a red ribbon in her hair""; fans of dePaola's picture books will recognize this scenario from The Baby Sister and appreciate the amplifications here. Cheerful black-and-white pictures convey Tomie's considerable spunk and help bring his likable family and friends into focus. The author's concluding wordsD""But more about all that later!""Dwill leave fans of all ages eager for the next installment of these lighthearted, anecdotal memoirs. Ages 7-11. (May)