A Very Late Story

Marianna Coppo. Flying Eye, $17.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-911171-66-9

Five creatures appear along the bottom of a blank white spread, among them a pink rabbit wearing a green backpack. They’re puzzled. “I think we’re in a book,” one ventures. “So we have to wait for the story!” another says. The pink bunny asks, “Can we play?” The others dismiss the rabbit and set about waiting responsibly for their tale. Exasperated, the rabbit begins drawing on the left-hand side. As the pages turn (and the others wait, chatting about delay-based anxieties and the weather) the rabbit fashions a huge tree, then a dinosaur, a swing, a delightful tree house—a whole world. The others remain oblivious, until at last (“ ‘Huh?’ ‘Eh?’ ‘Oh?’ ”), the scene impinges upon their reverie. Drawings by Coppo (Petra) appear childlike, but her subtle ability to control readers’ attention is polished. Life involves a lot of waiting, as Samuel Beckett knew—but why wait for someone else to deliver your story, Coppo asks, when you can write it yourself? Ages 3–5. Agent: Debbie Bibo, Debbie Bibo Agency. [em](Sept.) [/em]