cover image Suzette and Nicholas in the Garden

Suzette and Nicholas in the Garden

Satomi Ichikawa. St. Martin's Press, $0 (29pp) ISBN 978-0-312-77982-5

This flowery, heavily sentimental book presents Nicholas and Suzette, siblings who romp about the garden of their ""happy home.'' Overbearing older brother Nicholas spends most of his time correcting silly Suzette. When she wishes she could pick all the flowers, for instance, he tells her, ``Don't be so naughty and selfish. . . . The flowers are there for everybody to enjoy.'' Later he helps her climb the garden wall and shows her ``the world,'' but ``this is too much for Suzette to understand. She will think about the world another time.'' When we leave the children, Suzette is sleeping, but Nicholas is awake, staring at the moon. ``Tomorrow he will tell Suzette all about the sky and the sun and the moon.'' Nicholas's patronizing attitude, cast here in a positive light, may annoy readers and parents. Ichikawa's pastel, pastoral scenes are static and not varied enough to hold interest.(No ages given)