Each a Piece

Bruce Brooks, Author, Elena Pavlov, Illustrator
Bruce Brooks, Author, Elena Pavlov, Illustrator Laura Geringer Book $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-023594-9
Hardcover - 64 pages - 978-0-06-028119-9
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-0-06-023595-6
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In his first picture book, Brooks (What Hearts?) serves up a disjointed text, which is overwhelmed by debut artist Pavlov's nostalgic collages of Victorian illustrations. The hand-sized book, jacketed with a frosty transparent cover, resembles a vellum-covered Victorian volume. Phrases like ""a piece of the moon/ a part of the sky"" and ""the sunlight that shone/ long ago in the day"" seem to refer to snippets of memories and yet pose riddles. The art, showing angelic, sailor-suited boys and pinafored girls with English rose complexions, is a pastiche of nursery-room motifs, from sweet kittens and dogs to building blocks and dollhouses. The text suggests that readers must fill in the context for the disparate images: ""Each piece is a part/ of more left to find/ and whatever's missing--/ is all in your mind."" Pavlov works hard to supply the connective tissue--cutouts show a view into a dollhouse; the illustration for ""each piece is a part"" reveals that the crescent moon on the first spread is actually part of a mobile--but there's a lot more buildup than delivery here. This novelty item may appeal to collectors of Victoriana, but for others, it will be a conundrum. All ages. (Oct.)
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