cover image Leonora O'Grady

Leonora O'Grady

Leah Komaiko. HarperCollins Publishers, $15 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-021766-2

This fourth collaboration between Komaiko and Cornell ( Annie Bananie ; Earl's Too Cool for Me ) celebrates an old woman's childlike knack for discovering treasures among the world's refuse--real and imaginary. Leonora's collection, which tumbles from a cart she wheels around town, contains such finds as ``A whistling alarm clock / A snoring teakettle / An ostrich's knee socks / One bulldozer pedal.'' Who needs to visit an art museum, a young admirer asks, when Leonora has assembled such a visual feast for all to share? The energetic, undulating line and springlike palette of Cornell's watercolors infuse Leonora and her cache with an exuberance ideally suited to Komaiko's buoyant verse. This protagonist's bag-lady appearance and fondness for sleeping overnight in the park near her home may raise eyebrows; some may feel it romanticizes poverty while others will accept it as a wishful depiction of a world more amenable to spontaneity and tolerant of individual differences. Ages 5-8. (May)