cover image Pillow Places

Pillow Places

Joseph Kuefler. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-295673-6

This picture book opens with an awkward sleepover moment: two kids sit on a sofa, not sure what to do. But these pals, one brown-skinned and one white, quickly hit on an idea based on what’s right in front of them: pillows. Accom- panied by the host’s faithful and equally imaginative black cat, the kids harvest cushions throughout the house and create a spaceship, a castle, and a pirate ship for some vivid pretend play before bedding down for the night. Meanwhile, the lilting, minimal text leans heavily into the fun inherent in repeating the word pillow (“What should we make pillows. What will it be pillows. Climb aboard and come with me pillows”). The stage-like domestic setting doesn’t seem to offer Kuefler (The Digger and the Flower) much opportunity to showcase his considerable skill in evoking character and setting through texture and color. But his protagonists’ wide mouths and bright-eyed enthusiasm certainly convey that there’s mild mischievousness afoot, and it’s fun to see how the kids’ pillow stacking defies the laws of physics. Readers should close the book ready to perform a thorough inventory of the pillow potential in their own homes. Ages 4–8. [em]Agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. (June) [/em]