cover image So Few of Me

So Few of Me

Peter H. Reynolds, . . Candlewick, $14 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-2623-5

Reynolds (Ish ) creates a lighthearted yet insightful fable about the repercussions of overscheduled lives. The tale's opening line—"Leo was a busy lad"—appears opposite a picture of a blond boy diligently multitasking. No matter how hard he works, there is always more to do, so he decides to make a to-do list. Alas that list grows and grows, leading Leo to utter, "So few of me and so much to do. If only there were two of me." Immediately, there is a knock on the door, which Leo opens to find an identical replica of himself. The two find even more to do—as do the subsequent Leos—until there are 10 in all, "each one busier than the next." Though his conscientious clones announce there is no time to rest, exhausted Leo slips away to take a nap. Still savoring his naptime dream, Leo wonders, "What if I did less—but did my best ?" Rendered in watercolor, ink and tea, Reynolds's art provides a deft balance of spare pages and comically cluttered compositions, and gives the various Leos an entertaining array of facial expressions. An engaging and eye-opening tale for over-programmed kids and the adults who set their schedules. All ages. (Sept.)