cover image I Promise I'll Find You

I Promise I'll Find You

Heather P. Ward. Firefly Books, $17.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-895565-40-9

It will be up to presiding adults to create an appropriate context for this underbaked book, which is dedicated in part to ``all of the missing children in the world.'' In verse, a mother tells her child about the ways she might search for him: ""If I had a little racecar/ I'd race the whole world twice./ I'd find you and I'd keep you,/ Oh, that would be so nice."" Where Margaret Wise Brown's The Runaway Bunny reassuringly tells a child that a parent's love will follow him wherever he goes, Ward changes the script: I will find you wherever you are taken. In doing so she seems to introduce the anxiety her book seeks to dispel. McGraw (who illustrated Love You Forever) serves up a set of bouncy full-spread pastels splashed with sunlight. Readers may enjoy hunting through the art for the stray child, found on every spread except one-an inconsistency that is particularly disturbing in light of the book's themes. Ages 3-8. (Nov.)