cover image Splash! A Little Book About Bouncing Back

Splash! A Little Book About Bouncing Back

Maria Van Lieshout, . . Feiwel and Friends, $12.95 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-312-36914-9

Not as clever as van Lieshout's Bloom! A Little Book About Finding Love , this small-format, paper-over-board picture book features a seal hero who wakes up feeling sad. With sparse b&w cartoons splashed with blue and yellow and in succinct text, van Lieshout deftly depicts the downhearted seal as he looks out at the horizon, sobbing: “Don't bother rising today, sun.” But he feels worse when the sun heeds his request and floats toward him instead. Like a circus seal, Splash bounces the yellow sun higher and higher, eventually pushing it into place and recovering his own spirits: “The sun is up... and so am I.” As in Bloom , the book's chief strength is the interplay of the expressive drawings and the concise text, supported by gutsy typographical treatment. Words grow to Brobdingnagian heights (“Why me?” dominates a spread of a miserable Splash alone on a tiny ice floe) and create movement (as in “boing,” shown multiply in yellow, in various sizes, to reinforce the bouncing ball). The design, credited to Molly Leach, deserves top marks. All ages. (Oct.)