cover image Anna and the Bagpiper

Anna and the Bagpiper

Thomas Locker. Philomel Books, $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22546-8

Locker once again paints scenes from the Hudson Valley, this time as backdrop to an attempt at a fantasy for the very young. Golden-haired Anna, following a strange sound, meets up with an elderly bagpiper on a hill near her house: ``He played a bright, happy tune just for her. As the sun set, he played a long, sad song that echoed across the valley.'' Anna's mother, filling the requisite role of skeptical adult, only smiles when Anna tells her about her experience. Locker's own story seems not to inspire him, as he reuses such too-familiar images as violet and gold sunsets over the hills, and the full moon framed among clouds; his collaborations with Candace Christiansen ( Calico and Tin Horns , etc.) produced better work. The pro forma story and romantically realistic art are unlikely to win over the intended audience. Ages 3-up. (Apr.)