cover image A Fish in His Pocket

A Fish in His Pocket

Denys Cazet. Orchard Books (NY), $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05713-1

Russell is walking to school on a brisk November morning. He stops by the Long Meadow pond. Suddenly his math book falls into the pond! He quickly grabs it from the icy water, but not before it's slimy with algae. At school, Russell finds a small, still, orange fish in his book. He puts it in his pocket and worries; he worries all day. Finally, during art, he finds the answer. After school, he stops by the pond again, reaches into his pocket and sets the fish in a paper boat he made during art. ""Take care,'' he says as he launches the boat with its tiny, quiet cargo. He has made peace. As with his recent Frosted Glass, Cazet evokes childhood experience and the bittersweet moments of emotional growth. In glowing watercolor and ink illustrations his characters are shown as animals, yet the stories have sensitive qualities that will reverberate long after a child closes the covers. Ages 4-7. (August)