cover image A GLORIOUS DAY


Amy Schwartz, . . Atheneum/Jackson, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-84802-5

Much in the vein of Schwartz's What James Likes Best , this fetching picture book chronicles urban youngsters' everyday activities. On the opening page, the sun rises over a small, redbrick apartment building, looking warm and homey wedged in between two pale, taller ones; it is home to "one baby, two little girls, three big boys, four little boys, two cats, and a bird." As the following pages reveal all of these residents awakening within, readers will enjoy sorting out who's who—and who is related to whom—as well as spotting the pets. After a variety of breakfast scenarios, school-age kids depart and the preschoolers play indoors, have lunch, nap and then, along with mothers and sitters, parade to the playground. Later, when working parents and students return home, the stoop and sidewalk buzz with activity. Schwartz balances the idyllic scenes with engagingly eccentric—yet decidedly true—moments that will tickle adults as well as kids: "one bite of hot dog" and potato chips are on the breakfast menu for some; when one toddler "decides to get dressed outside," his patient mother helps him put on his diaper and clothes on the front steps; and, at dinner, this same child "lines up all his green beans like a train. Then he puts them in his orange juice." Giving visual dimension to these sweet and spicy slices of life are Schwartz's gouache and pen-and-ink vignettes, which dish up the zesty details. Ages 2-5. (Apr.)