In-Between Things

Priscilla Tey. Candlewick, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7636-8983-4
“An in-between thing is a thing in the middle,” debut author Tey explains on the opening page, and with dog and cat frenemies as readers’ guides, she gives a lowly preposition the star treatment, exploring all the things that in-between can be: a geographic location (“What will you find between the floor and the carpet?/ Yuck!”), a separator (a door; the glass of a fishbowl), a mashup (spork; the color green), or something that’s neither one thing or another (like twilight). Her aesthetic is quirky, ingenious, and highly disciplined: she works in strong shapes and fittingly translucent colors, and imbues even inanimate objects with humor and character. In one standout vignette, she promises that a fort (made from a sheet and chairs in a child’s bedroom) “will separate you from the monsters at night.” The dog, snugly inside, basks in the glow of a flashlight, the cat peers in from the threshold, and in the darkest corner of the room, some googly-eyed goblins lurk (more goofy than scary), looking thwarted and a little sad. Without venturing beyond the cat and dog’s home and neighborhood, Tey shows readers there’s a world of in-between wonder right in front of them. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/19/2018
Release date: 05/22/2018
Genre: Children's
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