cover image The Go Between

The Go Between

Amy Hest, Hest. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-02-743632-7

Sometimes romance needs a little push to help it blossom, and young Lexi is more than willing to give her grandmother's budding love life a nudge. Gram's object of affection is her old friend (and old secret crush) Murray Singer, a fellow ardent baseball fan who runs the newsstand across the street. In her role as go-between Lexi delivers messages (and tea and newspapers) between the two seniors. Unfortunately, her matchmaking skills are keener than she imagined, and she fears losing Gram to a new life with Murray. Hest's tender story blends nostalgia and contemporary family dynamics with a light touch. The New York setting and situations provide ample opportunities for both author and artist to present an accurate portrait of Big Apple life--complete with brownstones, all-night groceries, baseball pennants and rushing taxis. DiSalvo-Ryan's pencil and watercolor illustrations brim with a quiet intensity that reflects the energy of a metropolitan center. Bright blues and reds infuse additional life into the depiction of the characters' daily routines, and gentle facial expressions convey a wealth of emotion. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)