Valerie's father is dead and her mother is an artist who goes off to work and leaves her with Mrs. Weiss. Being a Norma Klein mother she also goes away on vacation with her boyfriend George, but even if she married him she would still work or there would be a hole in her life. Valerie, eight, exchanges ""I love you's"" on cue with her mother and her four-year-old brother Marco, though she remembers when Marco was little and she put leaves in his playpen ""hoping he would eat them and they might be poison ivy."" Out walking, friend Leah puts a hot dog between her legs and says ""Look at my penis!"" And so Norms Klein, the latest developmental problems checklist in hand, dispenses assurances as indicated in an easy to read (and, to be fair, easy to take) wide-spectrum booster.