When her mother marries Harry, Cynthia finds that she has to adjust to changes in her life at home.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyFrom the high-spirited first spread (depicting the wedding of narrator Cynthia's mother, Inky, and Harry "the shoe store man"), it's evident that this engaging book will take no getting used to at all. But Harry is an other issue. Dancing with Harry and Inky during the wedding celebration, Cynthia is ready to agree when the affable fellow gleefully declares, "Isn't love the berries!" But after he and Inky "toodle-ooed off to the mountains" on their honeymoon, Cynthia decides, "Love is the pits." And when they return, Cynthia finds Harry's omnipresence overwhelming: "Harry is coming out of our ears," she confides to her grandmother. As expected, the magnanimous Harry and Cynthia eventually bond (during a walk outdoors one night when she can't sleep), bringing Best's (Taxi! Taxi!) funny, heartwarming tale to a reassuring close. Palmisciano (illustrator of the Jenny Archer books) contributes ebullient, motion-filled art that, like the text, keenly and wittily targets kids' emotions. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Armin A. BrottCynthia's mom is getting married to Harry, the shoe store man, a guy who dances, and hugs, and kisses, and-worst of all-says things like "Isn't love the berries!" Things are bad enough, but when Harry and mom get back from their honeymoon, Cynthia wishes Harry would just go home. The problem, though, is that he already is home. This is a truly important book that gently and compassionately gives all of us an insider's view of the ups and downs of becoming a blended family.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalK-Gr 3This story beautifully explores a touchy topicgetting used to a new stepparent. Cynthia and Harry get along well, but it is difficult for Cynthia to share her mother. Barefoot ballet, peppermint shampoos for Pansy the dog, and giant ice-cream sundaes have given way to Harry's dancing, Harry's sneezing at Pansy, and Harry's gourmet cooking. Cynthia and Harry finally get to know one another and better understand each other's habits after a nighttime flashlight walk around the neighborhood. Mom also makes more time for Cynthia in the end, reviving barefoot ballet and those visits to the ice-cream parlor. Palmisciano's illustrations are comfortable, warm, and comical, breathing life into the characters. Use this picture book with family units to show the problems and solutions that often arise in conjunction with remarriage.Lisa Marie Gangemi, Sousa Elementary School, Port Washington, NY
Kirkus ReviewsBest (Taxi! Taxi!, 1995, not reviewed) has added another entryone of the better onesto the shelf of stories about adjusting to stepparents. When Cynthia's mom marries Harry, the shoe store man, the new couple dances around the room while Harry trills, "Isn't love the berries!" But Cynthia doesn't like being shunted to secondary status in her mother's life. In keeping with its relaxed tone, the book is short on scenes of Cynthia and Harry not getting along, but includes a sweet, extended episode where they reconcile when Cynthia gets insomnia. Smart and snappy, Best's words breeze across the pages as nimbly as ballroom dancers. The title may give the ending away, but was there ever any real doubt about the outcome? Palmisciano's watercolors accent the lighter-than-air tone.
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