cover image MY WORLD


Margaret Wise Brown, , illus. by Clement Hurd. . HarperCollins, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-024798-0

Originally published in 1949 (two years after Goodnight Moon) and out of print for more than 30 years, this melodic companion narrated by the endearing rabbit child introduces those elements of his life that he holds most dear. Brown's minimal text has a dreamlike, impressionistic quality reminiscent of her earlier book, yet the narrative adheres to a child's sense of logic as the bunny strings together the items and activities that fill his day. He defines his world in terms of his parents: "Daddy's boy./ Mother's boy./ My boy is just a toy/ Bear." In alternating spreads, Hurd portrays simple, black-and-white images of items or pastimes (the child's toothbrush hanging on a hook next to his father's; father and son fishing together) and full-color scenarios (recolored by Clement's son Thacher) spawned by those images (the boy brushes his teeth as one parent soaks in the tub and the other primps in front of a mirror; the family gathers around the table to dine on freshly caught fish). The final color spread underscores the volume's universality, as well as the little rabbit's contentment: swinging from a tree branch as his parents sit nearby on the porch, he announces: "Your world./ My world./ I can swing/ Right over the world." The volume's words and pictures stretch the boundaries of its time-honored predecessor, affirming that there is, indeed, a warm and welcoming world beyond the great green room. Ages 1-4. (Sept.)