cover image Petra


Marianna Coppo. Tundra, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-7352-6267-6

The heroes of adventure stories often have some control over their own fates; Petra only thinks she does. She’s a smooth, egg-shaped rock who looks like a beluga coming up for air. She makes airy pronouncements about her nature as a rock: “Nothing can move me. Not the wind. Not time.” Then a dog appears chasing a stick, and the view pulls back to reveal that Petra is small enough for the dog to pick up in its mouth—which it does. The dog owner’s slingshot sends Petra into a bird’s nest, and Petra cheerfully retools her image of herself: “I am an egg of the world, in a world of possibility.” Italian author-illustrator Coppo keeps her spreads simple, smooth, and stylish, painting pared-down forms on clean white backdrops. Petra’s thoughts are represented with quiet wit (she imagines hatching into a penguin, or a platypus), and her unplanned flights are traced with dashed lines. Change may be the only constant in Petra’s peripatetic existence, but her bubbly optimism is as solid as Gibraltar. “I’m a rock,” she concludes, “and this is how I roll.” Ages 3–7. (Feb.)