cover image Sometimes It’s Storks

Sometimes It’s Storks

L.J.R. Kelly, illus. by the Brothers Hilts. Putnam, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-25682-0

“The day was set; we called New York,/ and they decreed you’d come by stork.” Kelly (Blanket & Bear, a Remarkable Pair) runs with the age-old legend of baby-delivering storks as two parents describe, in doggerel verse, their child’s circuitous path to reach them—a lost luggage story on steroids. The stork puts the baby down for a moment, “far too close to a thieving croc,/ who floated you away downstream/ to give you to his friend the bream.” Colored in saturated primary hues, the Hilts brothers’ (Seaver the Weaver) graphic, printlike spreads offer a hide-and-seek game as readers look for the blue, jug-eared baby and the stork, following nervously at a distance. Eventually, the baby arrives at its parents’ doorstep with an explanatory letter: “This package from the Brisbane Zoo/ contains something owned by you.” The chain of animal handoffs is drawn out, but the ridiculousness of the effort is part of Kelly’s story’s appeal, as is the idea of parents with enough creative moxie to spin such a wild tale. Ages 3–5. Author’s agent: Grainne Fox, Fletcher & Company. Illustrators’ agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House (Feb.)

This review has been updated with the correct agent for the illustrator.