cover image The Someday House

The Someday House

Anne Shelby. Orchard Books (NY), $15.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-531-09510-2

Shelby (Potluck) taps directly into her readers' imaginations with these playful and poetic musings. Beginning with the phrase ""Someday we'll live in a house..."" Shelby goes on to concoct several childlike fantasies of the perfect house. One of these dream domiciles has a secret passage; another is above a bakery (""We'll help the baker clean the place and collect our pay in pies""). Other scenarios are utterly fanciful: ""Someday we'll live in a house of living trees. We'll hang wind chimes in every room and we won't need steps to climb upstairs."" Using sunny gouaches, Litzinger (Left and Right) depicts this house-made-of-trees literally enough to charm children (as she does in most spreads), but she occasionally strays confusingly afield. When the text mentions ""a house shaped like an `O,'"" Litzinger presents a round spaceship-a concept not introduced until the next spread; and later, in an unrelated spread, shows it cracked in half by unmentioned comets. That bit of oddness aside, the book shimmers with high spirits and whimsy. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)