Little Mist

Angela McAllister, illus. by Sarah Fox-Davies, Knopf, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-375-86788-0
In an extended soliloquy, a mother snow leopard introduces her cub, Little Mist, to the magnificent Himalayan wilds and the animals that live there. "This is the world," she tells Little Mist as they emerge from their den to a landscape of snow-covered peaks. "This is your world." Fox-Davies's (Do Rabbits Have Christmas?) watercolor and pencil drawings portray craggy mountain wilds and cuddly snow leopards with equal skill. McAllister (Yuck! That's Not a Monster!) makes Little Mist's mother's predictions engaging (if occasionally a little pompous)—"Soon you'll chase butterflies in the cloud forest and jump mountain streams"—and Little Mist's suitably childlike: "I like jumping!" Little Mist's mother stays focused on her initiation of Little Mist into the world at large as she introduces him to the animals of the Himalayas: "But one day you will be bigger than the red panda that sleeps in the old oak tree.... Sleeker than the shaggy yak that roams across the grassland." Young readers will be lulled by the incantatory quality of the text and drawn to the snow leopards, who look as friendly and welcoming as they do dignified. Ages 2–6. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/07/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
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