cover image Isla


Arthur Dorros. Dutton Books, $16.99 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-525-45149-5

In Dorros and Kleven's (Abuela) latest collaboration, young Rosalba's imagination soars on the wing of her grandmother's colorful stories of the tropical island where she grew up. Rosalba and Abuela fly through sunny skies until they smell ``aire tropical'' and see the island that Abuela calls ``mi esmeralda'' sparkling in the ocean below. Rosalba visits with her relatives, travels to the rain forest and samples the local plantains, papayas and pineapples before it's time to head back to New York City. Dorros's economical yet highly descriptive text conveys Rosalba's sense of wonder at new places and her keen interest in favorite family stories. The relationship between Abuela and her granddaughter, more friendly than maternal, sets the perfect lighthearted tone for adventure and exploration, and young readers of any heritage will quickly take to the several Spanish terms smoothly integrated into the plot. Kleven's mixed-media paintings are a kaleidoscope of color and texture, and her lofty perspectives allow for scenes that teem with detail-in-miniature-whether it be a skyline of city buildings dotted with tiny cars and pedestrians, or a crowded island marketplace brimming with bright fruits, vegetables and vendors. A fanciful flight. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)