The Deer Watch

Pat Lowery Collins, illus. by David Slonim. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-4890-9
Writing in evocative prose poetry, Collins (Come Out, Come Out!) tells the story of a boy and his father who arise with the sun one morning to try to glimpse the local deer. They are staying with the boy’s mother at a summer house on the shore “that smelled like old trees/ and where/ the seagulls on the roof/ believed they owned the place.” As they walk, they discover an egret (a “tall white shaggy bird,/ its neck a question mark”) and, less auspiciously, workmen disrupting the morning quiet with their bulldozers. A gentle sense of suspense slowly builds, leading to the magical instant when a doe and two fawns materialize. Slonim (I Loathe You), painting thickly in oils, does a lovely job of visualizing the wet stillness of a silent morning near the shore, as well as the intimacy between the terse father and his enthusiastic son. A nostalgic sensibility runs throughout Collins’s writing, the story unfolding from the poetic adult perspective of one sharing a treasured memory. Ages 3–6. Author’s agent: Lauren Abramo, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/25/2013
Release date: 04/23/2013
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