cover image Albert’s Quiet Quest (Mile End Kids #2)

Albert’s Quiet Quest (Mile End Kids #2)

Isabelle Arsenault. Random House, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-553-53656-0

The follow-up to Arsenault’s Colette’s Lost Pet stars Albert, whose search for a quiet place to read is told with restraint. Frustrated by the racket inside his house, Albert drags a chair into the alley and parks it in front of a discarded painting: an ocean sunset done in tints of orange and aqua. In his imagination, he’s at the beach—in possession of a refuge with an inviting view. But he soon experiences interruptions as, one by one, his neighbors intrude to garden, play badminton, listen to dance music, and more. Arsenault draws all this activity taking place on Albert’s “beach,” her loose pencil lines and expressive shading conveying his growing frustration as the arrival of additional children raises the decibel level. At last, Albert hollers (“For Pete’s sake, can’t someone just read a book around here or what?!”), and his friends react by respecting his wishes in a particularly warm and loving way that includes the entire group. In Arsenault’s ideal neighborhood, independent children make their own decisions and form their own community, and they resolve their own conflicts, too. Ages 3–7. Agent: Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency. [em](June) [/em]