cover image The Chalk Box Kid

The Chalk Box Kid

Clyde Robert Bulla. Random House Children's Books, $3.99 (80pp) ISBN 978-0-394-89102-6

Bulla's addition to the new Stepping Stone series opens as Gregory's family moves to a smaller house in a poorer part of town; the father has lost his factory job. There is no yard at the new house in which to play, but Gregory explores a nearly burnt-out building that formerly was a chalk factory. Gregory finds plenty of chalk in the debris as he cleans up, and the artist in him soars. Even though the kids at the new school don't accept him readily, Gregory is happyfor him the blackened walls of the building become his giant canvas. Bulla has created a gem of a book, without a wasted word anywhere. He conveys the yearning and passion of a young artist and the healing power of friendship in a story that goes straight to the heart. Illustrations not seen by PW. Ages 7-9. (October)