Nina Crews, Author . Holt $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8050-7728-5

Imagination gets top billing in this clever what-if picture book about the uncharted worlds that lie beneath the wooden stairs in young Jack's house. Jack and his faithful action-figure companion, Guy, routinely plot grand expeditions—to cities, forests and mountains—on their tall and narrow household staircase. When Jack discovers a hole in one of the stairs and realizes he's too large to see what's below, he quickly sends Guy on a reconnaissance mission "down, down, down." Jack's mind races thinking of what adventures Guy may be encountering—or worse yet, the fear and loneliness the solo action-figure might feel. Mom and Dad are too busy to help, so there's nothing left to do but mount an elaborate rescue effort with toy trucks and volunteers. Crews's (The Neighborhood Mother Goose ) carefully paced text and crisp color photo collages capture the energetic sense of fun and palpable concern that are part of many boys' real-life fascination with action-figures and their vividly plotted exploits. Shadowy under-the-stairs scenes feature Guy starring in activities imagined by Jack and drawn in a thick white line, paying a bit of homage to Harold's Purple Crayon . This fanciful look at play will likely hit high notes with young readers. Ages 3-6. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 04/17/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 34 pages - 978-0-692-43447-5
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