cover image The Fog

The Fog

Kyo Maclear, illus. by Kenard Pak. Tundra, $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-77049-492-3

Maclear (The Liszts) and Pak (When the World Is Dreaming) deliver readers to an icy island overtaken by a persistent fog in this haunting but hopeful allegory. On the island, a yellow bird named Warbler observes human visitors through binoculars; the fog impedes this habit, but more alarming is its effect on the island’s residents. “I wouldn’t even call it fog,” offers a blackbird. “Mist, maybe.” An owl suggests acceptance: “Sometimes these things happen.” With the aid of a human girl—a “red-hooded spectacled female (juvenile),” to be precise—Warbler draws attention to the situation, and that very awareness lifts the fog. The message that the first step to addressing a problem is acknowledging its existence is an important one, whatever the issue at hand, and Pak’s airy mixed-media images smartly play moments of humor against an understated sense of menace. NB: the hilarious scientific classifications for ballplayers (“#674 swift red-capped pitcher”), beatniks (“#664 American bushy-browed surf-head”), children (“#659 whooping bare-chested male [juvenile]”), and other human specimens on the endpapers are not to be missed. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Jackie Kaiser, Westwood Creative Artists. Illustrator’s agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency. (May) [/em]