Lily, who is six, her brother Casey, twelve, and their mother have moved from a house in New Jersey to a small apartment in Philadelphia. Casey has a space of his own, while Lily has to share a room with her mother. Seeking privacy, Lily attempts to sleep in the bathtub with the chair cushions, but the faucet leaks and the cushions get wet; she then tries to make a cave under the kitchen table that lasts only until a spider takes a walk across her face. Sleeping in the closet doesn’t work out much better. Casey provides the solution when he spots a folding screen in a used-furniture store, which the family refurbishes to Lily’s satisfaction. Warner keeps the tone light and the focus tight, so readers only know that the family’s reduced circumstances are because a “mean judge” has sent Lily’s father to jail for “taking stuff that wasn’t his.” In true six-year-old form, Lily’s attention is on the problem of privacy, and while a one-chapter predicament has been spun into a novel, the childlike first-person narration is written with considerable humor and grace. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: July 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-679-89137-4

Page Count: 82

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1998

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In describing how his parents met, Say continues to explore the ways that differing cultures can harmonize; raised near San Francisco and known as May everywhere except at home, where she is Masako, the child who will grow up to be Say’s mother becomes a misfit when her family moves back to Japan. Rebelling against attempts to force her into the mold of a traditional Japanese woman, she leaves for Osaka, finds work as a department store translator, and meets Joseph, a Chinese businessman who not only speaks English, but prefers tea with milk and sugar, and persuades her that “home isn’t a place or a building that’s ready-made or waiting for you, in America or anywhere else.” Painted with characteristic control and restraint, Say’s illustrations, largely portraits, begin with a sepia view of a sullen child in a kimono, gradually take on distinct, subdued color, and end with a formal shot of the smiling young couple in Western dress. A stately cousin to Ina R. Friedman’s How My Parents Learned To Eat (1984), also illustrated by Say. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-395-90495-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999

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One of a four-book series designed to help the very young prepare for new siblings, this title presents a toddler-and-mother pair (the latter heavily pregnant) as they read about new babies, sort hand-me-downs, buy new toys, visit the obstetrician and the sonographer, speculate and wait. Throughout, the child asks questions and makes exclamations with complete enthusiasm: “How big is the baby? What does it eat? I felt it move! Is it a boy or girl?” Fuller’s jolly pictures present a biracial family that thoroughly enjoys every moment together. It’s a bit oversimplified, but no one can complain about the positive message it conveys, appropriately, to its baby and toddler audience. The other titles in the New Baby series are My New Baby (ISBN: 978-1-84643-276-7), Look at Me! (ISBN: 978-1-84643-278-1) and You and Me (ISBN: 978-1-84643-277-4). (Board book. 18 mos.-3)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84643-275-0

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: June 3, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2010

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