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One Busy Day: A Story for Big Brothers and Sisters


All Mia wants is for her big brother, Spencer, to play with her. But he's always too busy! So Mia paints, and dances, and explores, and keep busy all by herself. But with a little imagination and a lot of love, Mia might just be able to show Spencer that it's a lot more fun to be busy together.

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All Mia wants is for her big brother, Spencer, to play with her. But he's always too busy! So Mia paints, and dances, and explores, and keep busy all by herself. But with a little imagination and a lot of love, Mia might just be able to show Spencer that it's a lot more fun to be busy together.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mia, the newborn introduced in One Special Day (2012), is now a toddler, but older brother Spencer is too “busy” to play with her. She doesn’t wallow—instead, “Mia painted... a bold, bright picture. She danced... like a twirly, whirly ballerina. She explored... a deep, dark cave.” Meserve alternates between vignettes of Mia at play and elaborate imagined versions of each activity (mudpies in the garden are transformed into a kitchen overstuffed with baked goods). Readers will notice Spencer working his way into Mia’s fantasies, and before long the two are fighting dragons and sailing the high seas together. For jilted siblings, it’s an inviting reminder of their ability to make their own fun. Ages 3–5. Author’s agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Since her arrival in One Special Day (Hyperion, 2012), Spencer's little sister, Mia, has become an active little girl who just wants to play with her big brother. But Spencer is way too busy for her, so she becomes busy, too. Mia paints, dances, explores, bakes, builds, swims, discovers, and climbs. Slowly Spencer is drawn into her play. Together, they swim, discover, climb, and battle dragons, and "for the rest of the night Mia and Spencer were both busy-very, very busy together." Schaefer's spot-on text is matched by Meserve's compelling illustrations. Especially effective is the pairing of text and art depicting the contrast between what is actually happening on one page and what the children are imagining on the next. For example, Mia goes from a kiddie pool to riding a dolphin in the ocean: "She swam…in curling, crashing waves." Readers have to turn the page to see what is imagined, creating maximum suspense, which is great for storytime. This sweet tale hits all the right notes.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-12-18
In this sequel to their excellent new-baby story, One Special Day (2012), Schaefer and Meserve depict a growing sibling bond between big brother Spencer and little sister Mia. No longer a baby, Mia longs to play with Spencer. "But he was always too busy." Mia gets busy all by herself and engages in solitary imaginative play. Taking a page from Ian Falconer's Olivia (2000), whose heroine imagines herself as Maria Callas (among other luminaries), Meserve's art cleverly extends the text to expound upon plucky Mia's imaginative flights of fancy. For example, she goes exploring under a fort of chairs and blankets, but a page turn reveals her to be not in a dining room but in "a deep, dark cave" complete with drawings reminiscent of those discovered in Lascaux. All the while, Spencer observes his little sister's play and is soon enticed to join in on the fun, much to her delight. The pleasing text culminates in a circular ending that showcases the pair as "busy. Very, very busy—together." Throughout, Meserve's digitally rendered illustrations employ soft visual texture and bold colors to create a cheery, charming world for the two children to enjoy. Hooray for sibling revelry! (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423171126
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 3/4/2014
  • Series: Story for Big Brothers and Sisters Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 517,077
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

LOLA M. SCHAEFER ( is the author of more than 200 books for children. Her book Frankie Stein was awarded the Children's Choice Book Award and the Mockingbird Award. Lola lives with her husband, Ted, in the mountains of north Georgia.

JESSICA MESERVE ( is the author-illustrator of Small Sister and Can Anybody Hear Me? She was born in Maine, studied illustration in Scotland, and worked in publishing as a children's book designer before pursuing a career as an illustrator. Her two young children helped inspire her artwork in this book.

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