My Fall 2010 Books: MAD AT MOMMY by Komako Sakai

The Library of Congress CIP data summarizes this book as "A little rabbit is very angry at his mother, and he tells her the reasons why," which is accurate. But what makes it terrific and real is how specific and at the same time universal those reasons are: that she sleeps late when he wants to play; that she always tells him to hurry up, but then she never hurries up herself; or, as you can see in this next picture, that she yells for no reason (when it's illustratively clear she has very good reason!).

The resolution is satisfying for mommy and child alike, and the illustrations will make you both laugh and say "Awww!" for their expressiveness. . . . I mean, really, just LOOK at that cover, or this next image, the soul of four-year-old petulance:

Publishers Weekly said in a starred review: "This honest account of a small rabbit's angry outburst and the contrast between the adorable protagonist and his simmering emotions demonstrate Sakai's (The Snow Day) uncanny ability to tap into children's feelings," and Kirkus, added, with another star, "A playful story that offers young readers—and their big feelings—a serious voice. Charming, classy and current" -- three words that we may just take as our new motto at Arthur A. Levine Books.

The story we always tell about this book around the office is that the first time Arthur's son was read the book, he finished it, closed it reverently, and said, "This is a PERFECT book, Daddy." We couldn't agree more.