cover image The Impossible Mountain

The Impossible Mountain

David Soman. Little, Brown, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-316-42774-6

Classically drafted, light-filled spreads follow a pair of child heroes through this mountainfaring adventure by Soman (the Ladybug Girl series). It opens in a European-style walled village with a huddle of red-tiled roofs, where Anna and little brother Finn, both white, spy a mountain beyond the village walls. It’s so big that it dwarfs them, the village, and the surrounding countryside. Knowing that she has to climb it, Anna persuades small Finn to come with her, resisting the warnings of neighbors. “Climbing the Mountain is impossible!” says the blacksmith. “You’ll never get past the River!” “I can,” says Anna. And she does. She and Finn ford the river, find a path across a sheer rock face, and spend the night in a cave with an unexpected companion, at every turn finding resources and resolve. It’s a story about setting a goal and pursuing it in a saga refreshingly free of evildoers. And there’s nothing juvenile or cute about Soman’s colored pencil, gouache, and watercolor portraits of thundering cataracts and monumental cliffs, which confer dignity and importance on Anna and Finn’s journey. Ages 3–6. Agent: Douglas Stewart, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Nov.)