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WHAT HAPPENS ON WEDNESDAYS by Emily Jenkins Kirkus Star


by Emily Jenkins & illustrated by Lauren Castillo

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-374-38303-9
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

“What happens on Wednesdays is I wake up when it is still dark out.” From dark to dark, a preschooler’s ingenuous narration of her day is a catalogue of the sweetly ordinary sights and events that make up the length and breadth of her reassuringly stable world. Jenkins’s deep understanding of what a small child marks as important informs every line of this tale, from her protagonist’s declaration of independence that “today is not a kissing day” to her very personal map of her neighborhood. That takes her “up the block where we once saw an umbrella caught in a tree, past the bakery where we got that chocolate croissant, across the street, past the daycare where I used to go when I was little. . . . ” Newcomer Castillo’s illustrations evoke Margot Zemach, with thick smudgy lines and a wintertime palette that celebrates the leafless beauty and energy of this intimate patch of Brooklyn. From what is same every Wednesday (the preschool routine) to what is different (late afternoon play), every moment is both as particular as this one unnamed child and as general as every child. Another domestic triumph. (Picture book. 3-6)