cover image Why Do You Cry?: Not a Sob Story

Why Do You Cry?: Not a Sob Story

Kate Klise, , illus. by M. Sarah Klise. . Holt, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-7319-5

The rabbit duo from Shall I Knit You a Hat? returns for a gentle tale that explains how no one ever really outgrows tears. There's no crying at age five—at least, that's what Little Rabbit, on the verge of his fifth birthday, believes. "I'm done with crying... Crying is for babies, and I'm not a baby anymore," he tells his mother. What's more, anyone else who cries is disinvited to his birthday party. The cat confesses to tears, for instance, "when I'm alone and it's dark and the shadows on the wall look like big, mean giants." The bunny soon discovers that this exclusionary policy will rule out not only all of his friends, but his mother, too. Kate Klise skillfully handles the matter of grownups who cry: Mother Rabbit explains that a sad movie or a toothache can move her to tears, as can the "proud and happy" feeling she gets when she sees how far her little one has come. A celebration ensues, (and readers will spot Mother Rabbit dabbing her eyes as she takes in this milestone event). M. Sarah Klise sidesteps preciousness by virtue of her crisp shapes and radiant, saturated colors. Her depiction of crying animals strikes just the right tone: pale blue droplets simply tumble out of their eyes, as if the tears were a force of nature and not a sign of weakness. Those on the cusp of kindergarten should find the Klise sisters' message a source of comfort. Ages 3-7. (June)