cover image Off We Go!

Off We Go!

Jane Yolen. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-90228-1

Yolen's (Child of Faerie, Child of Earth) rhyming picture book chirps a chipper spring song about young animals off to a visit with Grandma. Little Mouse moves ""tip-toe, tippity-toe,"" Little Mole begins to ""dig-deep, diggity deep"" and Little Spider does a ""creep-crawl creepity crawl,"" each headed to a different but equally wonderful, place: Grandma's house. Though each has planned a separate journey, the animals find themselves playfully hopping, slithering and digging over and under one another as they all move along a grassy meadow. But as Yolen sums up: ""Wherever Grandma's house is found--/ In hole, in tree, or underground,/ In web, or bog, or in a nest--/ Why, Grandma's house is always best."" Featuring soft and cheery yellows and greens, Molk's (Good Job, Oliver!) sunny watercolors capture both the exuberance of the young woodland animals and the sprouting, hatching newness of the season. The book's horizontally expansive trim size helps convey the wealth of marshy textures and a sense of the fun journey as the creatures' anticipation increases. Ages 2-6. (Apr.)