Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Sarah Weeks & illustrated by Ashley Wolff

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-15-202561-8
Publisher: Gulliver/Harcourt

A sensitive tale exploring the turbulent mix of emotions, both the trepidation and happy reunion experienced by youngsters at pick-up time. Simple verses take readers through the end-of-day rituals the children have at a school or daycare facility. One by one, parents arrive, reciting a riddle just for their own child, to which the youngsters respond with enthusiasm (as will the audience). Various physical attributes lovingly described by the parents include big round eyes (the raccoon), a cute nose (the otter), silken hair (the fox), soft tummies, perfect toes, etc. “Whose cheeks just beg to be nibbled and kissed? Mine do. Mine do. Mine!” The repetition of this scenario with each child reassures readers even as Weeks (Oh My Gosh, Mrs. McNosh!, below, etc.) gently acknowledges the incipient anxiety of the last one remaining. The eventual arrival of the tardy parent results in obvious relief, reaffirming the reader’s sense of security. The deeply hued illustrations are a rich blend of watercolors, chalk pastels, and pencil drawings. They depict a nursery school full of adorable critters ranging from a chubby-cheeked chipmunk to a prickly porcupine in familiar, fun activities, such as painting and dress-up, while conveying the increasing unease of the puppy that will be the last to leave. Sympathetic and soothing, this tale is just right for taming the worries of small fry when they are away from home. (Picture book. 2-6)