cover image Why?


Lindsay Camp. Putnam Publishing Group, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-23396-8

Camp (previously paired with Ross for The Midnight Feast) employs a comfortable storytelling style to evoke a stage of childhood familiar to parents everywhere, then adds playful dialogue asides and a dash of the fantastic. Lily nearly drives her father bonkers by forever asking ""why."" The duo's daily routine abounds with such exasperating exchanges as: ""Time for bed, Lily."" ""Why?""; ""It's time you were dressed."" ""Why?"" But during an outing to the park one day, Lily's penchant for pourquoi proves particularly handy. A ""gigantic Thargon spaceship"" descends near the playground, and the aliens inside threaten to destroy Earth. Lily's well-timed ""why"" questions fortunately cause the Thargons to reconsider and lift off back into space. Ross's cross-hatched colored-pencil illustrations are equal parts warm and whimsical, a jolly complement to the text's lighthearted mood. And to great effect, many spreads are divided, comic-book-style, into panel illustrations, allowing room for fun-to-read dialogue balloons. Ages 4-8. (June)