cover image Out of the Woods

Out of the Woods

Lyn Gardner, illus. by Mini Grey, Random/Fickling, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-385-75154-4

After the events of Into the Woods (2007), the Eden family threw away a magic musical pipe that would grant them any wish, but now that flute has found its way back to them. On top of that, the evil witch Belladonna is after the heart of the eldest Eden sister, Aurora, to keep herself young and beautiful. It falls to the stubbornly adventurous Storm to protect Aurora and keep Belladonna from getting the pipe, even going to the underworld and confronting an old nemesis to do so. Grey's b&w artwork is incorporated into the text throughout—a sailboat pushes through the book's gutter, and shards of broken mirror surround another spread like daggers. The myth and fairy tale allusions and references (Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, among many others) should entrance younger readers, while a story line mixing action with tragedy, familial love with jealousy and sibling rivalry, and a fear of change with hope, will appeal to a broad audience. Storm faces hard choices, and the courage—and regret—with which she meets them with is always believable. Ages 8–12. (Apr.)