cover image Over-Scheduled Andrew

Over-Scheduled Andrew

Ashley Spires. Tundra, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-77049-484-8

Andrew, a school-going chickadee, has developed a problem common to many kids (and adults)%E2%80%94too many commitments are leading to burnout. It starts innocently: surely joining the debate club would help his drama performances. And why not karate and ballet to improve his dancing? Luckily, Andrew's friend Edie (previously seen in 2014's Edie's Ensembles) helps him get back to a better place%E2%80%94and to bed to catch up on sleep. Working in digital media, Spires gives her animal cast the polished look of Plasticine figurines. While the premise of the overcommitted child has been explored before in books like Roz Chast's Too Busy Marco and Peter H. Reynolds's Too Few Of Me, Spires makes it her own, bringing a playful touch to her writing and artwork. In fact, insofar as this is a message book, the real takeaway is less "know your limits" than "nothing ventured, nothing gained." By book's end, Andrew has returned to his love of acting and cleared his schedule, but he's also become a cinephile%E2%80%94something he might never have discovered without a stint in French film club. Ages 4%E2%80%938. Agent: Claire Easton, Painted Words. (Jan.)