cover image GOOD MORNING, SWEETIE PIE: And Other Poems for Little Children

GOOD MORNING, SWEETIE PIE: And Other Poems for Little Children

Cynthia Rylant, , illus. by Jane Dyer. . S&S, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-82377-0

In eight poems and accompanying portraits, Rylant (When I Was Young In the Mountains) and Dyer (I Love You Like Crazy Cakes) extol the joys of domestic life from a toddler's eye view. Taken together, the album is one big love fest from wake-up to tuck-in—nothing is too prosaic for the author and illustrator to celebrate. Running errands, for example, means not only the chance to wave at everyone from inside Daddy's snazzy yellow Beetle, but plenty of adventures, too: "Stopping at the grocery store,/ stopping for the mail,/ stopping at the hardware now,/ 'cause Papa needs a nail." Even a rainy day is no reason for a boy to complain, thanks to a resourceful mother: "She brings out all his baby toys/ (the special ones for baby boys)./ .../ He rolls a ball across the room/ and sweeps the carpet with a broom." Dyer's remarkable facility for creating nostalgic scenes with a timeless feel is in evidence here. Her full-page and spot illustrations rendered in watercolor shimmer. While her characterizations occasionally teeter on the brink of sentimentality, her sensitivity to contemporary stylings and mores keep the paintings firmly planted in a child's universal experience. Rylant wears her heart on her sleeve with aplomb; every poem feels like a warm hug. Ages 1-5. (Oct.)