cover image Green Mist CL

Green Mist CL

Marcia Sewall. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $15 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-395-90013-0

Sewall's (Thunder from a Clear Sky) esoteric adaptation of an English legend is set in a time long past when ""there were, so to say, two churches: the one with priests and such, the other just a lot of old ways kept all hidden-like amidst the people."" Though youngsters' curiosities will likely be piqued, they may need help interpreting the cryptic passages here that only allude to the rituals that the superstitious folk conduct throughout the year to befriend mischievous ""bogles"" and keep ""the mischancy beings away."" As spring approaches, one family anxiously awaits the arrival of the Green Mist, which will ""awaken the sleeping land."" They pin their hopes on the magical mist to revive their ill daughter, who ""waned like a fading snowflake."" After the girl performs the ceremony welcoming the mist, she experiences a sudden reversal of health and becomes well. Though the rituals fleetingly described here seem to correspond with the changing seasons, the ceremonies themselves go without explanation and are rarely shown in context. The pale, washed-out watercolors do little to exemplify the import or role of the customs in the lives of the rural townsfolk. Ages 5-9. (Mar.)