cover image Drawer in a Drawer

Drawer in a Drawer

David Christiana. Farrar Straus Giroux, $13.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-374-31874-1

This is one of those picture books that may well receive critical acclaim for its imaginative concept and stylish execution--but will take some heavy explaining to the intended age group. The abstruse plot concerns a mysterious yarn-like ``line'' made into a 3-D box (already a difficult concept for youngsters to grasp), which is then ``filled with pillows, armadillos, and rocks,'' rolled down Jack and Jill's hill and used as a trap for an anthropomorphized crescent moon. Typical of the convoluted, poetic text is the sequence where Fud, the creative ``drawer'' of the title, ``drew a ladder / Up into the night. / Took a dip in the Dipper / While the moon took flight.'' While flights of fancy can hold considerable child appeal, this plot leaps from one incident and concept to another with little or no logic, and children will almost surely find it inaccessible. The art evinces considerable talent, but once again, little ones will be put off by the dark palette and may have difficulty deciphering the murky images. Perhaps in his next effort Christiana will be more attuned to the tastes--and inherent limitations--of young readers. Ages 5-8. (June)