cover image Hattie and the Wild Waves

Hattie and the Wild Waves

Barbara Cooney. Viking Children's Books, $16.99 (400pp) ISBN 978-0-670-83056-5

Readers have come to expect a great deal from this talented Caldecott Medalist ( Ox-Cart Man ; Miss Rumphius ). Even her most demanding fans will be captivated by the richly detailed paintings that illustrate this heartwarming narrative. Based on her mother's childhood, this somewhat autobiographical account glows with the rich traditions of familial love. Hattie, whose parents came to this country from Germany, lives in Brooklyn during the winter months, and spends the summers in Far Rockaway--in a glorious, sprawling house surrounded by water. But wherever she is, Hattie wants to spend all of her time painting. With the passing years, as Hattie's father becomes wealthier and her surroundings grow even more luxurious, her dream of being an artist becomes increasingly important to her. And, as a young woman, she does what she did as a girl: she listens to the surf crashing onto the Brooklyn shore. `` ` You will make beautiful, beautiful pictures ,' said the wild waves.'' Cooney's lucid, poetic text and striking artwork evoke both the simplicity and the elegance of a bygone era. Ages 3-8. (Oct.)