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How Do You Know?    by Deborah W. Trotter & Julie Downing order for
How Do You Know?
by Deborah W. Trotter
Order:  USA  Can
Clarion, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

One morning Polly wakes up to a dense fog and is instantly mesmerized. She cannot understand where everything went. Where is her swing set? Polly wants to know. When her mother tells her that everything is still there, Polly questions her further: How do you know? And her mother responds, 'I just know.'

The two of them go outside to explore. Soon, the swing set comes into view, but the house disappears. With each object that disappears, Polly's mother keeps telling her that things are still where they should be. Polly soon catches on to her mother's line of reasoning. By bedtime, here is their conversation:

Polly put her arms around Mama's neck. 'I love you, Mama.'
'I love you, too, Polly.'
'I know.'
'How do you know?' Mama asked.
Polly smiled and closed her eyes. 'I just do.'

This book nicely plays into the notion that children need reassurance that their world will stay the same, and that their parents' love is everlasting.

The artist has a soothing style, using soft, pretty watercolors. She skillfully makes the fog look very real, and incorporates muted shading throughout. This is a sweet bedtime book that both parents and children will enjoy.

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