Jamie Lee Curtis has had many firsts: her first (and only) marriage to Christopher Guest, her first time holding her children, Annie and Tom, her first time pretending to be a customer in an episode of Quincy, and her first time she wrote words that became her first book. She lives in Los Angeles, the first city she ever lived in, and is always first in line, first to arrive, first to leave, and first to sleep. Laura Cornell lives in New York City with her daughter, Lily (first and only), but they spend much time in California, Laura's first state in her first home. She was asked to illustrate Jamie's first book, and that became ten. Lucky is the first word that comes to mind.
Actress Curtis and illustrator Cornell ( Earl's Too Cool for Me ) evoke a healthy child's proud sense of self in this exuberant picture book. The narrator, a girl who prefaces almost every statement with ``When I was little,'' delightedly lists all the things she can do now that she's nursery-school age. ``When I was little, I spilled a lot,'' she explains. ``Mom said I was a handful. Now I'm helpful.'' Pictures of a cheerful baby contrast with the protagonist in her maturity, and both a sunny palette of watercolors and playful lines effectively capture the narrative's buoyant spirit. Unfortunately, the book strikes one sour note: Curtis and Cornell each slip in implicit endorsements of specific cereals and junk foods (Cap'n Crunch, Chee-tos, Animal Crackers)--gratuitous inclusions that mar an otherwise winsome, upbeat work. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
"Exuberant--a winsome, upbeat work."--Publishers Weekly