Review of Me and the Boss: A Story About Mending and Love

Me and the Boss: A Story About Mending and Love
by Michelle Edwards; illus. by April Harrison
Preschool, Primary    Schwartz/Random    40 pp.    g
10/22    978-0-593-31067-0    $18.99
Library ed.  978-0-593-31068-7    $21.99
e-book ed.  978-0-593-31069-4    $10.99

Six-year-old Lee and his big sister Zora, a.k.a. “the boss,” take an embroidery class at the library. (Lee isn’t really old enough, but Zora fibs to get him in.) Lee learns to thread a needle, jabs his finger, and laboriously creates…a mess. When they get home, Zora shows their parents the fine flower she embroidered; Lee says his project is a surprise, knowing he has more to do. In the middle of the night he gets to work, slowly and patiently stitching until he makes a smiling moon. With newfound confidence, he repairs his pants pocket and, in the morning, Zora’s teddy bear. Edwards’s (A Hat for Mrs. Goldman, rev. 9/16) spare text is powerful in its simplicity, conveying the love between a brother and sister; the determination of a small child to learn a new skill; and the threads that hold embroidered flowers, smiling moons, a Black family, and their community together. Harrison’s (H Is for Harlem, rev. 7/22) folk-art style, which employs collage, acrylic, pens, and pencils and a lush, colorful palette, is the perfect complement to Lee’s first-person narration. Back matter includes step-by-step instructions for making Lee’s smiling moon. A wonderful read-aloud for home, the library, and the classroom.

From the September/October 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Dean Schneider

Dean Schneider teaches eighth grade English at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee.

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