cover image My Father's House

My Father's House

Kathi Appelt, , illus. by Raúl Colón. . Viking, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-670-03669-1

With the Bible verse John 14:2 as inspiration (“In my Father's house are many mansions”) and a tip of the hat to Al Gore on the dedication page (“in gratitude for his service and commitment on behalf of our beautiful blue planet”), Appelt (Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers ) and Colón (Doña Flor ) offer appreciation for the beauty and wonder of creation. The gentle text, written in four-line stanzas, is spot-on in its meter and occasionally imbues locations throughout the natural world with household analogues (mountains become “porches wrapped in snow/ Where black bears dine on cherries” and the tundra is imagined as a ballroom “filled with dancing northern lights”). Colón's paintings beautifully convey a childlike reverence. Rendered in softly radiant hues and comfortingly rounded and curvilinear shapes, the images bring to mind vintage murals; fine, undulating lines, reminiscent of engraving, give the pictures dynamism and textural depth. Ultimately, text and artwork combine to make a soothing, spiritually resonant offering for environmentally conscious readers. Ages 4-up. (May)