cover image The Leaving Morning

The Leaving Morning

Angela Johnson. Orchard Books (NY), $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05992-0

The bittersweet feelings that accompany the move from a familiar home to a new one are portrayed with a gentle hand in the latest offering from the creators of When I'm Old with You and One of Three. A boy tells of the last few days leading up to the leaving morning. Packing boxes of their favorite belongings and saying goodbyes have been difficult, but the boy and his sister take some comfort in their father's prediction: in a little while we'd be someplace we'd love. Johnson's brief text conveys a wealth of emotion. Her depiction of a day in the life of a family provides plenty of common experiences to which young readers will relate, but also leaves room for speculation about the characters' specific circumstances. And Soman's warm watercolors help fill in some particulars-youngsters can see that Mama is pregnant and that the big-city apartment may be a bit small for this growing brood. Carefully portrayed faces capture feelings of anxiety, sadness and relief in their various expressions. This thoughtful picture book may well provide reassurance for parents and children facing a relocation. Ages 4-7. (Aug.)