cover image Once Around the Block

Once Around the Block

Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow Books, $12.95 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-688-04954-6

Annie's bored. The baby is crying, and that means Mama is taking care of him. The dog is busy scratching. Her best friend is on vacation. Annie goes out on the front steps to wait for Papa to come home, but she's bored and impatient. Mama suggests Annie take a walk around the block to help pass the time. Each of the neighbors she meets has somethinga cookie, a flower, an offer to run through the grass barefoot. And when Annie gets home, Papa is waiting for her on the front steps. Henkes tells his story with warmth and a believable ending. Chess' art is playful and funny, from the delightful houses on the block to the dark-rimmed eyes of the people and pets. Ages 58. (April)