cover image I Miss You Every Day

I Miss You Every Day

Simms Taback, . . Viking, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-670-06192-1

Inspired by a Woody Guthrie song, Caldecott Medalist Taback (Joseph Had a Little Overcoat ) crafts a terrific and touching book. Someone special in the life of his narrator, an urban girl, is far away (the person and his/her relationship remain unspecified). So she concocts a plan to “send myself your way” courtesy of the U.S. Mail. “I'm going to jump inside a nice big box,” she declares, “I don't care what you say/ I'll write your address on the front/ I miss you every day./ Please take me to the post office/ They will sort me on my way/ I'll jump into a mailbag/ I miss you every day.” Having successfully arrived at her destination (with $1.18 postage due), the girl promises that all she'll need is a bath, supper, some candy, and a bedtime cuddle with a good book to know that “everything will be O.K.” The naïve exuberance characteristic of Taback's art is very much in evidence here, from the colored, hand-lettered text to the puckish scale. But while the girls's braids, hands and pink-and-green sneakers poke through the girl-as-package, Taback has dialed back considerably his customary goofy visual asides. In doing so, he enables audiences to focus their attention on the girl's yearning and determination, and he assures them that their constancy still counts in a highly mobile world. In a savvy design element, an envelope affixed to the title spread holds an card insert—a perfect pocket for a gift card, too. Ages 6-up. (Sept.)