When you’re sick and stuffy, some letters—like T’s and L’s and M’s—disappear.
Little Louie, a young—well, “it wasn’t like he needed his mom every minute of the day”—black kid, has caught a cold. A nasty cold: ears crackled, brain full of sog, nose dripping enough mucus to launch a ship. And when you get a nasty cold, well, “maybe his mom should check on him kind of often.” The cry goes out: “BOB!” Now, as it happens, the house pooch, an ever faithful Great Dane, is named Bob. So, Bob comes running. Little Louie tries again: “I wan by BOB, not BOB!” (Sharp-eyed youngsters will note that one “Bob” has a heart in the middle of the O, and one does not.) Soon enough, kids will figure it out: it’s a case of the stuffed-nose, missing M. Scanlon and Vernick’s text is sweet without treacle, and it gives Little Louie’s long-suffering couple of sick days a good ride. Cordell’s artwork is terrific. The pages have action without clutter, and Louie has a little chicken-necked balloon head with brown skin, feverish red cheeks, and the most splendid mauve pajamas.
For a book that really comes down to a sick kid yelping for his mother, his nose so clogged it needs dynamite to clear, the story has a lot of adorable acreage. (Picture book. 3-5)