cover image The Stack

The Stack

Vanessa Roeder. Dial, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-32438-7

Tucked under the covers in her top-floor bedroom, brown-skinned Luna says of the eerie deep purple night, “It’s too dark!” But instead of waiting for someone older to brighten things, Luna takes a single red chair and starts stacking increasingly improbable items, one on top of another. But to what end? As she builds the pile, Luna exhibits ever more impressive feats of strengths and ingenuity. With a backward overhead throw, she tosses a claw-footed bathtub occupied by “her tallest friend”—a pink-skinned bather—to the top of the stack, then follows up by hurling items including “grandpa’s station wagon” (a classic woodie) and a dragon; she also slingshots a whale and catapults a neighbor’s house. When the stack reaches into the night sky, Luna clambers to the top, grabs a star, and brings it home to be her night-light. Through it all, Roeder’s (The Box Turtle) mixed-media art combines a miniaturist’s precision with a playful sense of scale and perspective. Readers can fully appreciate every item Luna employs to reach her goal, and see how her achievement stacks up against her diminutive, footed-pajama stature. Ages 4–8. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Feb.)