cover image Carnival Time

Carnival Time

Vivian Sathre. Simon & Schuster, $14 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-671-76963-5

A family spends a day at a carnival in this marginal book by first-time author Sathre, whose staccato text consists entirely of two-word sentences. As a boy and girl and their parents enter the carnival grounds, ``Music swells. Gates open.'' They enjoy the rides on the midway, have something to eat and watch a clown perform, and then the inevitable occurs: ``Balloons burst. Corn pops. Ice cream plops. Children cry. Parents soothe.'' After a rest, the family samples more of the amusements before heading home. Depicting such movement as spinning rides and tossed balls, newcomer Kazu's hazy, pastel paintings are often intentionally blurry, which at times makes them difficult to decipher. Particularly enigmatic is the cover art, repeated on an inside spread, which offers a close-up look at a carnival ride in motion. Unfortunately, the book fails to deliver the thrill of this special outing. Ages 3-6. (Aug.)