cover image Lift


Minh Lê, illus. by Dan Santat. Little, Brown, $17.99 (56p) ISBN 978-136803692-4

Collaborators Lê and Santat (Drawn Together) mix a tale about sibling rivalry with a classic fantasy quest. Spare text by Lê along with Santat’s panel artwork tell the story of Iris, whose small, special pleasure is pushing the button in her building’s elevator. One awful day, her task is appropriated, without warning, by her baby brother. Her parents and sibling beam with pride; Iris scowls. After an elevator repairman’s visit tackles the out-of-service elevator next door, Iris retrieves the discarded button panel. “I wish I could be anywhere but here,” she fumes. She tapes it to the wall next to her closet, and presses: “Ding!” Light breaks across her face as the closet door opens; her amazement presages wonders that readers can’t yet see. Iris’s first foray into a new world ends quickly, but she soon gets another chance, and a dazzling adventure unfolds—until an unexpected but very familiar voice brings her back. Santat’s comedic versatility and theatrical use of light give the story cinematic momentum, while Lê’s insight into Iris’s conflicting emotions adds depth and warmth to the tale. Journeys to other worlds, Iris discovers, mean little without the warmth of her own. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Stephen Barbara, Inkwell Management. Illustrator’s agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (May) [/em]