Published by Greenwillow Books
Summary: Sal Miller is four years old, the younger sister of Billy Miller, the protagonist of two previous Kevin Henkes books. There’s a lot going on in Sal’s house right now, with a new baby sister who arrived on Christmas Eve, and a visit from Uncle Jake, who annoys Sal by calling her Salamander. Sal’s favorite Christmas gift was a set of underpants, each one labeled with both a day of the week and a flower. When she discovers that the Wednesday/Poppy pair has gone missing, she’s devastated. Her mother promises that by the end of the day they’ll find the missing underwear and name the baby (who has been called “Baby” for a week). This prediction comes true in a way that ties the two events together, and Sal decides that this bodes well for a happy new year. 240 pages; grades 1-3.
Pros: As always, Kevin Henkes perfectly captures the small details of a child’s everyday life, creating realistic characters and situations. I wish I had been as patient and kind with a new baby in the house as Mama and Papa are to Sal and Billy.
Cons: While this has the look of a middle-grade novel, a book with a four-year-old protagonist may be a hard sell to elementary kids.