cover image Mommy in My Pocket

Mommy in My Pocket

Carol Hunt Senderak, , illus. by Hiroe Nakata. . Hyperion, $12.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-5596-4

Newcomer Senderak addresses a common fear in this tale starring a girl bunny. The long-eared heroine fantasizes that if she could shrink her mommy down to pocket-size—with help from a wish made on a star—she would no longer be anxious about starting school. "All day long, we would never part,/ Mommy in my pocket, near my beating heart." Of course, certain responsibilities come with having a tiny Mommy in one's pocket. "At playtime, I would run about,/ Watching my pocket so Mommy wouldn't fall out," the girl promises, as Nakata (Winter Friends ) shows her vigorously jumping rope while holding one hand over her shirt pocket (Mommy's possible motion sickness seems not to have been considered). The verse may be at times overly earnest, but Nakata's pert watercolors depict the classroom as a fun-filled and chum-filled experience; the lunch scene has just enough food-fueled chaos to appeal to the imp in every beginning student. And Senderak and Nakata are to be applauded for not ending the book with a reality check. They understand that for a child facing a great unknown, being able to voice a wish can be as powerful an experience as having that wish fulfilled. Ages 2-6. (Apr.)