cover image Meet Jack Apple Knock

Meet Jack Apple Knock

Arnold Sundgaard. Philomel Books, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21472-1

Each day when Jack Appleknocker wakes up, he stares at the stain made in his ceiling by the rain, and is reminded by its shape of something in the day ahead. One day it looks like a boot, and that reminds him to wear his high leather boots. Another day, it looks like grapes, so he goes to the arbor and picks some (which he then turns into jelly). The stain looks like a potato? He digs up the potatoes. Is it a tree heavy with apples? He's ready to go picking. But on the seventh day, Sunday, the stain looks like the sun, and Jack enjoys a day of rest. Samton's cut-out watercolors make each page a geometric feast of color and shape, rounding out Sundgaard's galloping text. Imaginative interpretation, more often practiced on clouds than stains, is a game familiar to most children, who may glean a philosophical insight or two from the way in which Jack determines the course of his day. Ages 3-7. (Nov.)