Paperwhite

Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, Author, Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, Illustrator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $15 (32p) ISBN 978-0-618-04283-8
When little Lucy Rabbit discovers her neighbor Miss Mamie gathering stones for potting a paperwhite bulb, she eagerly helps her to ""make spring."" It takes patience and care, but the days pass quickly in Miss Mamie's good company (she keeps her young guest occupied with baking cookies and stringing beads, among other activities). Their patience is rewarded at last when delicate white blossoms sprout from the bulb. Wallace (Rabbit's Bedtime) punctuates her elegantly austere and subtly repetitive prose (""Days passed. The winter days grew even longer and lighter"") with periodic illustrations of the plant's progress and recurring scenes of Miss Mamie's kitchen (4:30 each time, by the clock), its window depicting a sky growing increasingly lighter. The story works on two levels, celebrating both the wonders of nature and the pleasures of a loving intergenerational friendship. Wallace's cut-paper illustrations, set against bold backgrounds of bright white or bold red, possess the fragile beauty of the snowflakes that fall outside Miss Mamie's window. Ages 3-8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/28/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
Genre: Children's
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