cover image Corner


Zo-O, trans. from the Korean by Ellen Jang. Owlkids, $19.95 (64p) ISBN 978-1-77147-532-7

This mostly wordless picture book opens as a black, crow-like bird contemplates the empty corner of the title, which fits neatly into the gutter between the pages. The floor is gray and the walls are high, white, and blank, an effect amplified by the book’s long, tall trim size. First staring up at the utterly bare corner, the bird gets to work, moving furniture and personal effects into the space—a bed, a rug, a bookcase, then a lamp and small green plant. “Hello?” it greets the plant. For the first time, the bird seems to relax, reading near the foliage, then pouring water over it and tucking in to sleep nearby. “Hmm. What else?” it asks. Soon, other ideas take shape, and the figure begins an ambitious mural that requires a handful of other objects: a radio, spare art supplies, and an increasingly tall ladder. South Korean creator Zo-O draws the corner from precisely the same angle throughout, the better to emphasize its transformation. It’s a cleverly wrought tale of growth, inventiveness, and how an impulse to nurture brings life into a space, allowing a being to thrive. Ages 3–7. (Mar.)