A single, working mom and her two children oversleep and rush through their morning routine only to discover the shocking truth when they get to school: It is Saturday.
Egan’s rhyming narrative is cumbersome at times: “ ‘It’s getting late,’ announces Nate. / Kate rolls over, rubs her eyes. / She sits up straight. ‘Oh that’s just great. / Not again!’ Nate’s mother sighs.” The harried parent leaps across the double-page spread, dog at her heels, son attached to one hand (he's airborne from the speed). While mom is efficient and her children cooperative, each contributes to the delay. Once outside, Nate’s need for his forgotten bunny leads to his slipping on ice, falling into mud and having a meltdown, for instance. Yaccarino’s signature gouache caricatures, rendered in flat colors and aerodynamic shapes, are oddly mismatched with the text at this point, and whereas the story has heretofore been a play-by-play description, the stuffed animal is confusingly inserted here without any retrieval scene. The mud puddle, too, is a strange contrivance in relation to the previous page’s snow-covered landscape. (Through the kitchen window, the view is green—go figure.) The conclusion is more discomfiting than amusing, given that mom has become “too tense to talk” as she “squeal[s] down streets” in the car. A muddled effort.
Kate and Nate can run, run, run, but they do not have much fun. (Picture book. 3-6)