cover image WHERE IS MY MOMMY?


Julie Downing, . . HarperCollins, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-17824-6

Reassurance is the order of the day in this gentle offering about young animals (including the human variety) reuniting with their mothers. In warm, soft-focus watercolors, Downing (A Ride on the Red Mare's Back) presents a sequence of sweetly rendered familiar creatures (baby rabbit, baby skunk, puppy, etc.), each given two spreads. The first shows the animal alone, looking particularly winsome, while the facing page asks, "Where is my mommy?" The second, rendered as full-bleed, shows the animal tended by its mother. The bunny's mom, for example, nuzzles her child ("She's waking me up"), the bluebird mom feeds her fledglings ("She's bringing me home"). The human child caps the book, playing peek-a-boo; his (or her—the child's gender is not specific) mother joins the game ("Mommy is here!"). While the theme may be familiar, Downing's minimal text and friendly, inviting watercolors demonstrate her keen understanding of the needs of toddlers as they overcome separation anxiety. Ages 1-4. (Apr.)