cover image Home by Five

Home by Five

Ruth Wallace-Brodeur. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $13.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-689-50509-6

This lighthearted picture book demonstrates how the best intentions often become jumbled--especially by children who have trouble concentrating on just one thing at a time. Rosie loves to ice skate, but she has trouble getting home by 5:00. Although the determined youngster always leaves the rink at 4:30, she quickly becomes sidetracked--first by her friend Josh, then by a neighborhood cat and an enticing bakery window. Despite her efforts, Rosie's tardiness finally forces a practical, parental solution. Wallace-Brodeur's wistful text skillfully portrays a deep, dreamy and creative child, and makes Rosie's malingering almost excusable. The girl's wide-eyed delight in the world around her and her ``stop and smell the roses'' attitude will be understood and appreciated by many readers. Graham's shadowy, slightly soft-focused oil paintings deftly evoke the book's wintertime setting, with Rosie often a cheery bundle of blue and green, scrutinizing her surroundings. The warm portraits of the girl and her parents project a familial closeness and love that always survive occasional tests of patience. Ages 5-9. (Sept.)