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SUNDAY CHUTNEY by Aaron Blabey


by Aaron Blabey & illustrated by Aaron Blabey

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59078-597-3
Publisher: Front Street/Boyds Mills

An energetic, frizzy-haired girl claims her quirkiness but wrestles with her family’s frequent moves. “I’m a bit unusual,” Sunday introduces herself to readers, skipping rope along a hopscotch grid while blowing a pink bubble. Her smile and airborne posture connote confidence, which helps at every new school. Imagination counters her isolation, turning an empty table into an Alice in Wonderland homage and a lonely field (other children seen together, in the distance) into companionable hand-swinging with a life-size elephant and bear. But feelings of ambivalence hover. Sunday’s proud of her career ambitions (fashion design featuring scuba flippers? soccer? space travel?) and skill at befriending girls, but the constant relocations upset her, no matter how “wonderfully glamorous” she calls her mobile life. Is this defensiveness, as it sounds like when she says, “boys smell, have germs, and probably love me,” or true mixed feelings? Blabey doesn’t answer that question, but his clear acrylics and mixed media ground Sunday’s excitements and worries—shown in extreme, sometimes manic, facial expressions—on soft, solid, comforting backgrounds. (Picture book. 4-6)