cover image The Biggest Job of All

The Biggest Job of All

Harriet Ziefert, , illus. by Lauren Browne. . Blue Apple, $15.95 (33pp) ISBN 978-1-59354-100-2

Mommy, when I am all grown up, I want to have a really big job," says young Lulu—as long as that means she doesn't have to be elephant-washer ("I'll get all wet"), a teacher ("Teachers have to wipe noses"), a doctor ("I don't like medicine and I don't like shots") or a construction worker ("Hats itch"). When Mommy explains that being a mother is "the most important job I know," Lulu says that sounds just fine to her—but adds that she'd also like to be an author like Mommy, too. Browne's winsome, vibrant watercolor-and-ink pictures mark the debut of a capable illustrator in the Nadine Bernard Westcott mode. But Browne lacks Westcott's facility with zaniness, so while her domestic scenes exude a sunny familiarity, the pictures having to do with Lulu's professional fantasies have only a mild-mannered humor. Ziefert does little more than set up the illustrator's vignettes, and readers may find that the final revelation that Mommy is an author comes out of left field. Still this pleasant book offers reassurance to kids that they're Mommy's No. 1 priority. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)