One Lucky Girl

George Ella Lyon, Author, Irene Trivas, Illustrator DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley) $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7894-2613-0
When a tornado hits the trailer park and Nick's mother realizes his baby sister is missing, Nick says, ""All the screams nobody had screamed tore out of my mother's mouth."" As his parents search through the ruins, it is Nick who finally finds his sister in her crib, miraculously carried by the wind to a field. (The story recalls Gloria Rand and Ted Rand's Baby in a Basket.) Lyon's (Come a Tide) deft storytelling weaves together images with economy and grace. Nick's homely metaphors and his carefully established powers of observation--""Hawkeye,"" his father calls him--make his story believable and allow the reader to feel his emotions. Searching, he sees ""a skillet and a doorknob,"" and then ""a dream, the best you could ever have,/ the one where you find your treasure./ Right there in the green grass,/ plain as cake on a plate."" Trivas's (The Pain and the Great One) exquisite pastels grow more textured and menacing during the tornado and its aftermath. The ending is especially satisfying. As the reunited family stands together, bathed in sunlight and surrounded by wildflowers, Nick asks where they are going to live. ""Together,"" says his father, emphasizing the real value of Nick's ""treasure."" Ages 5-8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/31/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
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