cover image I Can't Take You Anywhere

I Can't Take You Anywhere

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Atheneum Books, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-31966-2

Kids who are apt to feel--or have been made to feel--clumsy will take an immediate shine to bumbling Amy Audrey Perkins, who is ""sort of a klutz."" Knowing her penchant for spilling, stumbling and tripping, Amy's parents prefer to leave her at home when they go out. And, after her aunts and uncles take turns escorting the child on outings that end in mishap, they similarly conclude, ""Never again!"" With easy-going, understated wit, Newbery Medalist Naylor (Shiloh) maneuvers a wry role reversal at the end, when Amy conducts herself impeccably at a wedding while certain intolerant members of her family exhibit some klutzy behavior of their own. Keeping step with the jaunty text are Kaminsky's (Let's Play Cards!) full-page and spot illustrations, rendered in pen-and-ink and watercolors. The artist puts a comic spin on perspective and scale, depicting the likable Amy with a diminutive body and oversized face dominated by eyes as round and large as porcelain saucers. A lighthearted, effective lesson on perseverance and patience. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)