cover image Every Friday

Every Friday

Dan Yaccarino, . . Holt, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-7724-7

Young children who share a dependable ritual with someone special can recognize themselves in this account of a father and son's weekly breakfast out. The elementary school–age son describes their routine, which begins before school or work (implied by the boy's book and the father's briefcase). Yaccarino's (The Birthday Fish ) gouaches present an orderly city of brownstones and highrises, in all kinds of weather. On the sidewalk, the boy and his dad tip their hats to a street sweeper and a uniformed doorman. The father coaxes the boy not to linger at a toy store window, and the boy returns the favor when his dad gapes at a sports shop. They arrive at a bustling diner, where a friendly waitress predicts their order and later calls, "See you next Friday!" Yaccarino favors late-1950s visuals. Nary a wheeled sneaker, video game or headphone detracts from parent-child closeness. The dad's gray fedora and checked blue tweed suit, and the boy's prim zip-up jacket and dress shoes, imply the era of Leave It to Beaver , while urging 21st-century readers to carve out space for togetherness. "Everyone is rushing, but we're taking our time," the narrator says as a full bus rolls past. In an author's note, Yaccarino explains that he and his young son set aside time each Friday, "our favorite day of the week," and prompts readers to "start a little tradition like ours." This amiable chronicle shows a cozy plan tailored to urban life, yet suggests the rewards are transferable anywhere. Ages 3-7. (May)