cover image The Jacket

The Jacket

Kirsten Hall, illus. by Dasha Tolstikova. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $17.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-59270-168-1

Literary agent Hall debuts with a lovely story that tenderly showcases the relationship between a girl and a book while giving readers the chance to form a very similar relationship, thanks to a neat bit of book design. Book—a gray-blue rectangle with oval eyes, a small smile, and stick limbs—is thrilled when the right child finds him in the bookstore: “Book thought he must be the girl’s favorite thing in the whole wide world.” Turns out, though, that the girl also has an enthusiastic scribble of a dog, and a muddy accident leaves Book spattered and stained. Debut talent Tolstikova’s mixed-media artwork reveals a knack for emotional range; at Book’s lowest, she shows him sprawled on the ground surrounded by desolate grayness, worried that he’s ruined. But the girl has a solution—a vivid yellow book jacket with two eyeholes and covered with crayoned drawings. In fact, it looks... exactly like the jacket of the book readers are holding, under which they’ll find a familiar-looking gray-blue hardcover with oval eyes and a small smile. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Sean McCarthy, Sean McCarthy Literary Agency. (Oct.)