cover image A Winter Journey

A Winter Journey

David Updike. Prentice Hall, $12.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-13-961566-5

Updike elaborates the familiar dreaming-and-waking motif here, in language that alternately charms and grates. A ""few silver coins'' are too poetic a payment for an ordinary haircut, but the proper names are enchanting: Homer and his dog Sophocles live in a world peopled by adults like Dr. Pulsavar, where Connally's drugstore has a ``neon glow.'' After a trip to town for a haircutunconvincingly described as an adventure, which gives the story a false startSophocles disappears in a tremendous snowstorm. Late at night, Homer creeps out of bed to look for his dog; he ventures into unknown parts of town and encounters a series of threatening characters. Sophocles arrives to rescue Homer from a snowplow and magically flies home with the boy on his back. Morning finds Sophocles safely asleep at the foot of Homer's bed. Parker's captivating paintings breathe life into a text that creates a child's world a bit too self-consciously. (7-up)