The Dove's Letter

Keith Baker, Author
Keith Baker, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-15-224133-9
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
It is a perfect day for flyingthe air is clear, the sun bright. As a dove flies above the woods, she spots a letter tied with a bright red ribbon, and knows she must deliver it. When she shows it to a woodsman, he is so excited that he rushes offleaving the letter behind. She then shows it to a woman, who also rushes off, convinced that her husband wrote it. The dove spends the entire day showing the letter to different people, and each is convinced the letter is from someone he or she loves. As the dove flies home that night, exhausted, she spies a lone soldier traveling below. She drops the letter at the soldier's feet and falls asleep on his shoulder. The soldier carries the dove back to her nest, and when she wakes up the next day she is surrounded by presents. Baker has written an unusual and pleasing story, utilizing repetitive elements in both text and illustrations. The use of pattern in the pictures, while influenced by Japanese art, is reminiscent of a patchwork quilt, with the dark greens, browns and blacks of the woods carefully juxtaposed against the bright blue of the sky, the muted yellows of the fields, and the white of the dove and the letter. A masterful first book. Ages 4-8. (April)
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