cover image Has Anyone Seen My Emily Greene?

Has Anyone Seen My Emily Greene?

Norma Fox Mazer, , illus. by Christine Davenier. . Candlewick, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-1384-6

That’s Daddy, doubling as lunchtime chef, asking the title question about his pigtailed preschooler daughter. “She’s not in the sink./ She’s not in the drawer,” writes YA author Mazer, in her first picture book. “She’s not in the pantry/ or behind the door.” Of course, Emily isn’t missing in any serious way; readers can easily spot her in Davenier’s (Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen ) playful watercolors as she runs through a variety of domestic hiding places: under the dining room table, behind the curtains, peeking out from a doorway. In one scene, as Dad makes a show of checking “under the rug?/ behind the chair?” Emily achieves a state of not-being-seen simply by throwing her red blanket over her head. Very young children especially will applaud Emily’s mischievous ingenuity, as well as Dad’s willingness to be such a good sport through so many pages. And when Emily finally reveals herself, she’s rewarded with a tasty feast, a lovely snuggle and a wonderful litany of endearments: “My daisy fluff, my sweet big stuff./ My clever, my funny, my lovely, my sunny./ My daughter so dear.” This utterly endearing game of hide-and-seek should be a delight for daughters as well as their daddies. Ages 3-up. (June)