cover image The Tunnel

The Tunnel

Anthony Browne. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $14 (26pp) ISBN 978-0-394-84582-1

With spare text and haunting paintings, Browne ( Gorilla ; Willy the Wimp ) creates an intriguing fantasy about sibling rivalry transformed by experience. In spite of her fears, Rose follows her brother into a mysterious tunnel, through a frightening wood, and finds that Jack has been turned to stone, but Rose's love and tears bring Jack back to life. This captivating tale of the thoughtful, bookish child who is ultimately strong, and her vulnerable, rough-and-tumble brother is a delight. Browne's artwork suggests that the story can be read at many levels; repeated metaphorical motifs are woven throughout the meticulous illustrations. His phantasmagorical forest, filled with animal shapes, will long linger in the reader's imagination. Ages 6-11. (Feb.)