A deceptively simple picture book that improves with each perusal: Mom, fixing Matilda's favorite pancake breakfast, with the table set for two, grows impatient as Matilda delays her arrival, explaining that she's just getting dressed; but alternate pictures show the five. or six-year-old upstairs wrapping Mom's birthday gift--a vase she has decorated herself. The minimal text, consisting of what the two say to each other (mostly from a distance), is fully explicated by the illustrations, in a comfortably relaxed, realistic style full of such telling detail as the gorgeous bouquet Mom has provided for her own birthday (it providentially serves to fill Matilda's gift), the jacket and dedication pages that echo Matilda's lovingly made card, and the cat that seeks Matilda upstairs and comically delays her by helping with the ribbon. All is wrapped up in a change of plan: the three sharing a cozy breakfast in bed, puss after the butter, flowers and vase in the central place of honor. Warm, unpretentious, humorous, and just right.