cover image Long Blue Blazer

Long Blue Blazer

Jeanne Willis. Dutton Books, $11.95 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-525-44381-0

There is mystery and suspense surrounding Wilson, the new boy who arrives in class dusted with snow and shakes hands with the teacher. He wears a long blue blazer, all the way to the floor, and contrives to keep it on all day, even through gym class. Because no one picks him up after school, he goes home with the classmate who narrates this story. What happens next is abrupt and in some ways unsatisfyingly twisted: when the family is in bed, green and yellow lights show up in the sky and Wilson leaps from the window, revealing his long blue tail, well hidden until now by his blazer. He jumps into a spacecraft. The extraterrestrial shift, clearly the artist's view of the events, is mildly entertaining, but Wilson's story was more compelling while it was a human one. Purples and blues dominate the pictures and quick strokes of black ink carve the characters from this twilight field. Ages 4-7. (March)