cover image Hurricane


David Wiesner. Clarion Books, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-54382-5

The Caldecott Honor recipient for the dreamlike picture book Free Fall offers another work to delight children and spark their imaginations. Wiesner's detailed, exquisitely rendered paintings draw the reader into his story of a hurricane's progress with all the sweep and immediacy of a film sequence. As the sky grays and the leaves swirl by in a ``green blizzard,'' David, George and their parents share a cozy supper by the fireplace. The next morning, the boys discover that a big elm which had stood on their lawn now lies stretched across their neighbor's yard. The old tree becomes the vessel that whisks the pair to adventure, as they joyously explore exotic jungles, confront pirates on the seven seas and travel to the stars. Sometimes they just relax, enjoying ``their private place, big enough for secret dreams, small enough for shared adventure.'' One day, though, reality intrudes as workers arrive to remove the tree from their neighbor's yard. Glum all afternoon, the boys brighten when their dad announces that another storm is on the way: maybe a second tree will fall, this time into their yard! This is an exuberant, absorbing slice of life. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)