cover image Most of the Better Natural Things in the World

Most of the Better Natural Things in the World

Dave Eggers, illus. by Angel Chang. Chronicle, $17.99 (52p) ISBN 978-1-4521-6282-9

Mixed-media, digitally rendered landscapes in jewelbox colors tell the story of a silent, solitary journey. The tale opens on a bleak expanse of land, a wooden chair inexplicably placed in the foreground, a magenta cord draped around it: steppe, the handwritten label reads. A page turn reveals a white tiger wearing a purple kerchief, the chair tied to its back, tiptoeing gingerly across stones in a stream between two sheer rock walls: gorge, it’s labeled. Where is the tiger going—and what is the chair for? A white bird sometimes flies above the tiger, a friendly companion. In the spreads that follow, the tiger hikes, climbs, swims, and rows through magnificent stretches of wilderness labeled with geographical descriptors usually relegated to textbooks. The tiger journeys from atoll to alpine lake to the badlands, stopping to gaze at the northern lights before it arrives at its destination—a spot whose name sounds just like the feline’s own. Eggers (What Can a Citizen Do?) and newcomer Chang imagine a wild world emptied of humans, their buildings, their vehicles, and their trash—landscapes that make the tiger’s expedition gloriously free and startlingly beautiful. Ages 5–8. [em](Nov.) [/em]