Don't Want To Go!
Shirley Hughes, Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5091-9
Lily, like most preschoolers, is a creature of habit. So when Mom's flu and Dad's job requires her to spend a day at the house of Melanie, a grown-up family friend she barely remembers, Lily is resistant; she repeats the book's title and "went all stiff and would not get out of the stroller." Melanie proves to be a diplomatic hostess, however, and gradually Lily warms up to her surroundings, giving new meaning to "Don't want to go!" in the end. Hughes's (the Olly and Me books) unadorned narration exudes empathy for the dislocated Lily (" ‘Don't want toast,' said Lily. She forgot to say thank you"). And her densely textured, saturated gouache images, which emphasize the connections between characters over environmental detailing, make a strong case that the right people can make any situation feel homey. Despite Melanie having a baby and dog to care for, her patience is unflappable, and Lily's gradual acceptance of the situation unfolds naturally and believably. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/27/2010