cover image Sophie's Window

Sophie's Window

Holly Keller, Author . HarperCollins/Greenwillow $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-056282-3

As she did in Farfallina & Marcel , Keller here shapes an affecting portrait of a friendship between two very different creatures. Caruso is a bird who lives with his parents in a shed atop a tall city building. "The sky is so big.... Do I have to do it today?" asks the feathered fellow, frightened at the prospect of his first flight. His parents reassuringly reply, "Maybe tomorrow." That night, the whistling wind awakens Caruso—and then whisks him off the rooftop and onto the window ledge of a nearby apartment building. In the morning, Sophie, a cheerful shaggy dog, appears at the window and, after learning Caruso's dilemma, announces, "We'll have to think of something to do with you... because you certainly can't stay." A full-bleed painting depicts Sophie patiently leading the hopping bird down the fire escape ("We'll never get you home at this rate"), then spot illustrations reflect their quicker pace as the pooch carries Caruso to his home on her back. Friendship conquers fear as, days later, Caruso makes his first attempt to visit his canine buddy; a full-bleed spread shows the giant vista, the skies that Caruso has conquered. Satisfyingly simple watercolor and black line illustrations convey the immediate bond between these two, both of whom display an amusing range of facial expressions. Keller underscores the importance of friendship and of taking necessary leaps. Ages 4-up. (Aug.)