cover image A New Day

A New Day

Brad Meltzer, illus. by Dan Santat. Dial, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-525-55424-0

If farm animals and crayons can have labor disputes, why not days of the week? In this amusing spoof of talent competitions by Meltzer (the Ordinary People Change the World series) and Caldecott Medalist Santat, Sunday, tired of being unpaid and unappreciated, quits. While she talks about going off to take up waterskiing and “learn Italian. No, Sanskrit, like the Buddhists,” the other days, rendered with the feel of characters from Inside Out, put out an audition call for a replacement. In the chaos that follows, shown in busy comics-style panels, every appreciated possibility, such as DogDay (“Puppies! Dogs! Everyone gets one!”), is accompanied by a slew of rejects, including Big-BurpDay (“Next!”), and increasingly desperate mash-ups (“KnightsWhoseSwordsAreHerringsDay”). But the creators have something more in mind than giving readers a highly inventive tickle. When one of the auditionees offers gratitude to the judges and earnestly suggests “a nice day... when people can show more kindness to each other,” Sunday declares herself back in the game, and the weekdays learn to appreciate each other. It’s a lovely and apt way to tie a bow on all the preceding silliness, with enough room left over to end on a cat joke. Ages 3–5. [em](Mar.) [/em]