cover image The Importance of Being 3

The Importance of Being 3

Lindsay Ward. Dial, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-42869-5

So long, terrible twos—it’s good to be three. There are friendships and newfound independence to explore; an increased confidence in one’s physical capabilities and powers of self-expression (“Let’s play pretend. Roar, I cry./ Lions, tigers, and bears. Oh my!”); and preschool, where all these talents get used on a daily basis. Additionally, notes Ward (Henry Finds His Word), being three means taking some tribal pride in all those other important threes out there, including the three bears, the three pigs, the primary colors, and the wheels of a tricycle. Although there are a couple of outbreaks of crankiness (“My mom begins to count to three./ Uh-oh! Time out. She points at me”), the mood is otherwise sunny. The book has some stretches that seem more like a catalogue of cuteness or a generic celebration of toddlerhood, as opposed to concrete developmental milestones associated with being three, but Ward’s guileless rhymes and trio of round-headed, rosy-cheeked cherubs are worthy of at least three cheers. Ages 1–3. Agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. (Feb.)