cover image Pip's Magic

Pip's Magic

Ellen Stoll Walsh. Harcourt Children's Books, $14 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-292850-6

Pip, a salamander afraid of the dark, sets out in search of Old Abra the wizard, hoping he will help him to be brave. His travels take him through a pitch-dark forest, ``black as shadows under a rock,'' into a tunnel ``as black as night with my eyes closed'' and over the hills when night falls, ``black as river mud.'' By the time he finds Old Abra, he has no need of the wizard's counsel, for without realizing it he has already confronted and conquered his fear. Walsh (Mouse Paint; Hop, Jump) uses boldly colored, paint-spattered cutouts that add charm and child appeal to this obvious but still helpful tale: young noctiphobes will enjoy perceiving what is happening before Pip does, and they may find a useful lesson in the notion that action can be the best antidote to fear. Ages 3-8. (Sept.)