cover image IN THE HEART


Ann Warren Turner, , illus. by Salley Mavor. . HarperCollins, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-023730-1

Mavor's (Mary Had a Little Lamb) distinctive, multidimensional art, a satisfying pastiche of curios, fabrics and creative needlework, is surely the heart of this visually enticing volume. Doll-like characters pop from the pages as Turner (Drummer Boy) follows a girl through a day. Brief poems describe the narrator's world, e.g., "The heart of the house/ is my kitchen:/ orange cat by my seat,/ a muffin warms my hand,/ talk like clouds of steam." With similar phrasing and cadence, she observes, "The heart of the street is my sidewalk," "The heart of the town is my school," "The heart of the afternoon is my friend" and so on. Observant youngsters may wonder at an inconsistency: the text concludes with the words that the moon "comes back to me—/deep in the pillow,/ deep in the bed,/ deep in the heart of/ the house"—this last no longer referring to the kitchen. But most will probably be too caught up in the pictures to notice. The girl's bedroom, for example, is a 3-D fantasy incorporating wood (bedposts, chairs, window frame), tiny stuffed animals, a beautifully embroidered rug edged with rickrack, and more. Arts and crafts enthusiasts will find inspiration in Mavor's work; nearly everyone will find something to admire. Ages 4-8. (May)