How twelve-year-old Henry copes as chief cook and housekeeper during the two weeks his widowed mother prepares a portfolio so she'll be hired as a children's book illustrator. If Ma doesn't get the job, they'll have to sell their big house or take bossy Aunt Wilhemena in as a boarder; so Henry does his best. His new role involves cleaning up kitchen disasters; devising a last-minute green-pea costume for little sister Annie's school performance; putting up with Annie's new cat (though he's afraid of cats) and with her little friend, a holy terror; enduring Aunt Wilhemena's visits when she spoils Annie and Joe but slights him; and seeking Annie frantically when she runs away toward the end. But it's all worthwhile because Ma gets the job, and Henry even unbends a little toward Aunt Wilhemena. This last isn't very convincing and none of it is memorable, but it's all easy to read and relate to, and occasionally funny.