cover image My Shadow

My Shadow

Robert Louis Stevenson. Putnam Publishing Group, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22216-0

Rand leads the reader through a joyful parade of children from all over the world in his rendition of the poem about a child playing with his shadow. A Chinese youngster plays kickball in front of a stone lion, a boy balances on the edge of a fountain in Italy, an African tyke stares at a puddle of shadow beneath his feet. Unfortunately, the Stevenson text, with its single narrator, is not well synchronized with the subjects of Rand's illustrations, who vary from page to page. For example, a girl in a garden is pictured saying, ``One morning . . . I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup.'' The sentence is completed by a group of children playing on an island beach who say, ``But my lazy little shadow . . . stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.'' Although Rand's often idyllic locales are gorgeously depicted, his settings may not always be clear to readers, adding further confusion to the artistic device. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)