Francesca Rusackas is a regional advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in southern California with her husband and their two sons.
If Mama, Don't Go Out Tonight (reviewed below) explores the fear of Mom leaving the nest, this book gently explores the idea of a child heading out to school for the first time. How will Owen the pig survive a whole day at preschool without his mother? Not to worry, says apple-cheeked Mommy: all Owen has to do is remember that she'll love him "all day long." As his mother imagines him at various points in the day ("I love you when you make a new friend"; "I love you when you march to a clang-clickity-clang" as he bangs the cymbals), Burris (Kate and Nate) presents the series of scenarios with humor and affection. She renders the porcine cast in a glowing shade of peach-a warmhearted visual foil for the bright, bold colors of Owen's preschool world. Many of the author's scenarios focus on mishaps ("I love you when you accidentally make a mess or when you can't wait for the bathroom"), but overall, the volume sends a reassuring message that parents love their children even while they are apart. As for the young hero, his pudgy physique and extensive repertoire of expressions makes him a credible stand-in for any human youngster with start-of-school anxieties. Ages 3-5. (Dec.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
"Owen is particularly lovable...depicted in bright colorful illustrations..." -- Associated Press
PreS-K-When a little pig worries about heading off to school for the day, his mother reassures him that her love for him goes everywhere he goes. "I love you all day long," she says. "I love you when you make a new friend.- or when you make a mistake." She conjures up all the triumphs and trials of the day, and the pictures, placed on ample white space, show the piglet burping at lunch, tripping over his shoelaces, singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" all by himself, and feeding the fish. And at the end of the day, she says, "I love you when you fly into my arms and when you hug me as tightly as you can. I love you all day long!" The bright, expressive illustrations and the spare text work well to bring the reassuring message home.-Shelley B. Sutherland, Niles Public Library District, IL Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.