cover image Ice Palace

Ice Palace

Angela McAllister. Putnam Publishing Group, $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22784-4

At the height of summer in ``a hot dry land,'' feverish Anna is brought to the garden room so that the cool winds will find her. But the breezes never come, and the ailing Anna depends on her father's stories to transport her to colder climes, to a ``land where snowflakes always fell.'' Serene watercolors, in blues and greens tinged with soft violets, capture ephemeral dreamscapes, ice caverns gabled with slender stalactites, a snowy outcrop inhabited by amiable polar bears. The imagery is vivid, and while the story itself is weakly driven (Anna's father, who works in the palace kitchen and ice house, keeps referring to a ``secret''), it lulls the reader into its tranquil ambiance. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)