cover image Miss You Like Crazy

Miss You Like Crazy

Pamela Hall, illus. by Jennifer A. Bell. Tanglewood (PGW, dist.), $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-933718-91-0

In this mild addition to the shelf of picture books on parent-child separation, a squirrel and her son imagine spending the day together, even though the mother’s job doesn’t make that an option. “I wish I could fold you up and pack you in my briefcase,” Walnut’s mother says. She goes on to imagine Walnut tucked away in the “pencil cup” on her desk and the two of them “scroll[ing] around the world,” as Bell (My Pen Pal, Santa) shows them flying off on a giant computer mouse. Although the duo’s imaginary adventures spring from Walnut’s insecurity, Hall smartly avoids making him too needy or wimpy. Eventually, Walnut’s mother reveals how he stays with her when she’s away (she has his picture on her computer screen, briefcase, and desk), and she gives him some corresponding mementos to take to school. While the text can occasionally feel disjointed during all the adventure-hopping, Hall offers adults concrete tools for combating separation anxiety, and Bell’s cozy, earth-toned art sweetly conveys Walnut’s loving and playful rapport with his mother. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Shannon Associates. (Apr.)