A most unusual day

Sydra Mallery

Book - 2018

Caroline is anxious all day at school, nervous about her newly-adopted sister's arrival from far away.

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Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
New York, NY : Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2018]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 28 cm
ISBN
9780062364302
0062364308
Main Author
Sydra Mallery (author)
Other Authors
E. B. Goodale (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

There's a sweetness to this story of Caroline's topsy-turvy day, one that comes from the quiet understanding of classmates and her teacher. Caroline is disorganized, forgetful, distracted at school, and also clumsy, but there's a good reason, and everyone seems to understand. Goodale's illustrations clue readers in to the special nature of this day: a small airplane appears in the sky of the front cover and end pages, and Caroline creates a broccoli family at school. The repetition of certain words, like today, remind us just how important this day is, while a double-page spread of a wall clock emphasizes waiting. There's minimal background in the illustrations, which focus primarily on Caroline, who is always in motion (eyes will follow her red shoes and eyeglasses). Caroline's special day ends with suitcases in the backseat of a car and a baby sister who has come from far away. On the final page, the multiracial family circles their new addition. A lovely, charming addition to the growing canon of adoption stories. Preschool-Kindergarten. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Everything is off-kilter for Caroline from the moment Grandma wakes her. In their rush for the bus, they forget her socks and her lunch box ("Her feet were sweaty and she had to eat school lunch"); she overfeeds the class goldfish; and she spills the paint water while cleaning up the art center. Small moments offer clues for all of this discombobulation: at lunch, Caroline lines up a tiny pea next to mom-, dad-, and daughter-sized stalks of broccoli, and in class, she practices feeding a baby doll. At last, her parents arrive carrying a "bundle from far, far away"—a new baby sister, who immediately grasps Caroline's finger, winning her over. Mallery, a poet, makes expert use of rhythm and repetition to give a palpable sense of Caroline's anxiety, anticipation, and final acceptance, while Goodale's (Windows) standout ink-and-watercolor digital collages reflect both the particulars of a child's world and the sweeping enormity of her feelings. An adoption story from the fresh viewpoint of an older sister, Mallery's debut captures a child's universal feelings with remarkable warmth and sensitivity. Ages 4–8. Author's agent: Douglas Stewart, Sterling Lord Literistic. Illustrator's agent: Lori Kilkelly, Rodeen Literary Management. (Apr.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 2—A young girl named Caroline moves through her unusual day at school, preparing for the impending arrival of her new baby sister. Mallery's simple text makes readers feel her preoccupation and discomfort. They are told that she is usually up early, organized, calm, and helpful, but on this day, "she forgot her socks. She forgot her lunch box. Her feet were sweaty and she had to eat school lunch." There is no explicit mention of adoption, and even the existence of the new baby is not revealed until nearly the end of the book. Rather, the text and illustrations provide ample space for questions and further discovery through reading and rereading, including subtle textual and pictorial clues, such as the words "far, far, away," and Caroline's interest in airplanes. The focus of the story is Caroline's experience, and the ways in which her perspective changes upon meeting the baby, who made "every usual thing, unusually new and perfectly right." Because of this, the book could be read with any child expecting a new sibling, despite the baby's depiction as older than a newborn. Caroline and her world are lovingly rendered by Goodale in ink and watercolors. The setting is modern, and the color palette fresh and light. The pages are full of detail and texture where it matters, clean lines, with secondary characters and objects sketched in gray and pastel silhouettes. VERDICT This adoption story fills an important need in most picture book collections while also representing the general experience of becoming an older sibling. A must purchase for any library serving families.—Clara Hendricks, Cambridge Public Library, MA Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Caroline is anxious all day at school, nervous about her newly-adopted sister's arrival from far away.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Something rather extraordinary is happening in Caroline's life today . . . her family is adopting a new baby sister! A warm and loving story about school, family, siblings, and adoption, for anyone eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new sibling.Today is a very unusual day! Caroline wakes up late, forgets her socks, and feels strange all the way to school. She tries to help her teacher, but everything is mixed up today and all Caroline manages to do is make a great big mess. Finally, the school day ends and Caroline rushes outside to greet her parents, who are having a rather extraordinary day themselves. In their arms they hold Caroline's new baby sister, who has just arrived from far away.Sydra Mallery's debut picture book is a loving celebration of family, adoption, and sisters. Exquisitely realized by the acclaimed illustrator E. B. Goodale, this charming adoption story is perfect for anyone welcoming a new brother or sister into the family.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Something rather extraordinary is happening in Caroline’s life today . . . her family is adopting a new baby sister! A warm and loving story about school, family, siblings, and adoption, for anyone eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new sibling.Today is a very unusual day! Caroline wakes up late, forgets her socks, and feels strange all the way to school. She tries to help her teacher, but everything is mixed up today and all Caroline manages to do is make a great big mess. Finally, the school day ends and Caroline rushes outside to greet her parents, who are having a rather extraordinary day themselves. In their arms they hold Caroline’s new baby sister, who has just arrived from far away.Sydra Mallery’s debut picture book is a loving celebration of family, adoption, and sisters. Exquisitely realized by the acclaimed illustrator E. B. Goodale, this charming adoption story is perfect for anyone welcoming a new brother or sister into the family.