cover image The Enemy: A Book About Peace

The Enemy: A Book About Peace

Davide Cali, , illus. by Serge Bloch. . Random/Schwartz & Wade, $15.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-375-84500-0

In identical foxholes, two identical soldiers in khaki uniforms wait to destroy each other. “Every morning, I shoot at him. Then he shoots at me,” says one. When he and his enemy both light fires or suffer in the rain, the speaker does not consider their shared hunger and misery. Instead, he consults a manual with a blood-red cover that pits him against “a wild beast... not a human being.” When he desperately disguises himself as a shrub to ambush his foe, observant readers notice that a passing “lion” is his equally tired rival, going AWOL. Cali and Bloch (previously paired for I Can't Wait ) establish an absurd waiting game worthy of Beckett. Bloch pairs pen-and-ink cartoons with collage elements like family photos, and gives readers a bird's-eye view from which to observe the men's similarities. The point will not be lost on readers. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)