cover image White Nineteens

White Nineteens

David Christiana. Farrar Straus Giroux, $15 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-374-38390-9

In his second solo outing, Christiana ( Drawer in a Drawer ) once again pulls readers into a parallel universe where the peculiar is the norm and one should always expect the unexpected. Stylistically, his watercolors at times recall both Stephen Gammell and Julie Vivas, but he possesses a distinctive edge of dark humor. Unfortunately, the eccentric vision of the sprawling, oversized illustrations is flawed by a meager and abstruse storyline involving a fairy, her missing wings (her White Nineteens) and a cast of Alice-in-Wonderland-style characters ranging from bespectacled bees and cowboy-hatted worms to a cat and troll duo who live in a rusted-out automobile. Suited for a more advanced audience than the intended age level, this book's appeal seems limited. Ages 5-8. (May)