From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-From the endpapers featuring quilt squares with menorahs, apples and honey, onesies, yarn and knitting needles, teddy bears, and spools of red thread with needles, readers will know they are in for a multilayered story. While the young narrator and his father are buttering their Passover matzos, Mom announces that she is having a baby. But where will the baby sleep? The apartment is crowded and the spare room-the sewing room-is filled with old sheets, sweaters, pajamas, and cloth collected over the years from neighbors. So from Passover through Rosh Hashanah to Simhat Torah, and on to Hanukkah, Mom tears, cuts, and stitches diapers, sleepers, onesies, blankets, caps, and mittens, cleaning out the sewing room and preparing for the infant while showing neighbors how to bring new life to old items. On the third night of Hanukkah, Lily is born and big brother and the neighbors bring her gifts created from hand-me-downs and leftover materials. Brightly colored, collagelike illustrations with detailed patterns accompany the lively text, delivering the reuse, recycle, repurpose theme. That the family is Jewish and the neighborhood diverse add texture to the story in a completely natural fashion.-Sharon Grover, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, WIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Mom has always been good at recycling and reusing cast-off and donated materials from her neighbors. Now the time has come to clear through her inventory to create a perfect space for a new baby. Her son frets that she will never get her jam-packed sewing room clear in time. Using Jewish holidays from Passover to Hanukkah as a time line, the book shows Mom refashioning old curtains, hand-me-down football jerseys, and mismatched mittens into diapers, onesies, and sweaters. Once baby Lily is born, there is plenty of space for her in the newly transformed sewing room, not to mention an adorable new wardrobe. While the recycling theme is evident, the sweetness of the book lies in the mother’s steady preparations—she is literally making and crafting room for the baby. Christy’s artwork combines textile collage with colorful illustrations. Tacking stitches mark the edges of some pages like a frame, and the endpages show a quilt with elements from the story. The entire effect is warm and joyous. Grades K-3. --Kara Dean