cover image Lola’s Heart

Lola’s Heart

Alexandra Boiger. Philomel, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-399-16590-0

In this dreamlike wordless fantasy by Boiger (She Persisted), three companions—a slender, white-presenting human dressed in black; a blue butterfly; and a white wolf—arrive by train at a quiet rural station, Lola’s Heart, where they’re united with a round red bird who’s larger than the other three. The artist works in delicately shaded pencil, bringing forth in faint, dense hatching the shapes of growing things. Three cheerful furry creatures seen hiding in the grass capture the blue butterfly, and readers see that they’ve already gathered a large menagerie of caged butterflies. The bird, human, and wolf pursue the creatures and manage to free their friend, but the ordeal tires them. Nestled together in the great red bird’s wings, they sleep. They wake renewed—and larger, too, with bird, butterfly, and wolf now dwarfing the human figure—and the sight of their shared frolicking inspires the butterfly collectors to free all of their captives. Boiger’s otherworldly allegory symbolizes the overcoming of obstacles, while atmospheric visual storytelling evokes a feel of mysterious wonder. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)