cover image My Cold Went on Vacation

My Cold Went on Vacation

Molly Rausch, illus. by Nora Krug, Putnam, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-25474-1

These debuting collaborators turn a thoroughly common experience—catching a cold—into an idiosyncratic meditation about a germ on the move. Rausch opens with a boy's play-by-play of his cold ("On Thursday, my throat was hurting"), but after he gets better, the boy wonders where his cold might have gone. A cross between the work of Maira Kalman and Roz Chast, Krug's quirky, electric-hued pictures combine folk art and cartoon sensibilities. The latter surfaces in her portrayal of the cold, a mucus-green, egg-shaped figure with a red Pinocchiolike nose and pink eyes. After the boy reminisces about the cold's earlier visits to relatives across the country (his grandmother in Vegas "gave it lots of orange juice and took it out with her to play poker"), his imagination sends the cold on an international tour ("Is it climbing mountains in the Alps? Or backpacking through Peru?"), causing discomfort to humans as well as animals. A whale sneezes the germ out of its blowhole, and the cold soon comes full circle, catching up with the boy's sister. Odd subject matter, but Krug's artwork makes for a visually arresting journey. Ages 3–5. (Jan.)