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A nonstop barrage of idioms baffles a boy on the first day of school in this small-format book, best for its insouciant illustrations. On each page, the child hears a figure of speech ("My mother said I got up on the wrong side of the bed) and, as the illustrations show, he takes the words literally. Told he'd "be in a real pickle if we missed the bus," for example, the boy envisions himself riding with other latecomers in a vehicle made of a pickle slice; this image, like the others, combines a photo with larkish pen-and-ink drawing, and Bloch (I Can't Wait) packs an outsize amount of comedy into each stroke of his pen. Adding minimal facial features, he imbues half a dozen bananas with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat (the "top banana" preens above the wannabes). Although the boy's feelings are on target-he fears school, misses his dog, dreads lunch but trades grins with the boy at the next desk-the one-note lines can grow thin; the book may be better browsed than read through. Ages 4-up. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.