cover image The Little Father

The Little Father

Gelett Burgess. Farrar Straus Giroux, $14 (28pp) ISBN 978-0-374-34596-9

With author Arthur Yorinks, Egielski created Sid and Sol, Louis the Fish and It Happened in Pinsk, three startlingly inventive and acclaimed picture books. Here, the artist presents eye-filling color views of the Victorian age that enhance the nonsense in Burgess's rhymes. Known since the turn of the century for the couplet ""The Purple Cow,'' the poet also was guilty of this fanciful jape. Michael Masters is four when he notices ``his great enormous father becoming very small.'' Soon, Mr. Masters and his son are the same size, a lark at first, as they play together like children. But the man grows even tinier, giving Michael more trouble as he continues, in his loving way, to care for his parent. Burgess leaves it up to the reader to figure out what happens, finally, when Mr. Master is so reduced that Michael has to use a microscope to put him to bed. (4up)