cover image Else-Marie and Her Seven Little Daddies

Else-Marie and Her Seven Little Daddies

Pija Lindenbaum, Gabrielle Charbonnet. Henry Holt & Company, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-1752-6

Lindenbaum salutes the unconventional in this wacky debut--a Swedish import--about a girl with a happy though decidedly odd home life. In addition to her normal-size mother Else-Marie has seven tiny, identical daddies who, apart from their size, behave like daddies everywhere. (There are some differences, of course: relaxing after dinner, they all fit in one armchair and share a single newspaper.) Terror strikes one morning when Else-Marie's mother announces that her daddies will pick Else-Marie up at school. Although the girl spends an anxious day imagining all the dreadful things that could happen, her fears prove ungrounded. Her daddies are a big hit, and no one sits on them during story time. Lindenbaum's muted watercolors are filled with amusing details--a wedding picture on the living room wall, for example, shows the bride towering over her seven diminutive grooms. It's an outrageously comical approach to a universal childhood fear--being thought different. Freud would no doubt have a field day with Lindenbaum's off-the-wall treatment, but readers may well relish the ride. Ages 4-7. (Nov.)