cover image Outside, Inside

Outside, Inside

Carolyn Crimi. Simon & Schuster, $15 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-671-88688-2

Crimi's first book is a story of contrasts: as Molly awakens in the morning and stretches in her flannel robe, ""Outside, black clouds sink down to the bottom of the sky."" In scenarios alternating between outdoors and indoors, the wind cries, a rabbit scurries, ""rain spills from the clouds"" and ""a slash of lightning scratches the sky"" while a grandfather's clock ticks reassuringly, ""maple syrup slips down a pancake mountain,"" Molly's cat naps beside the fireplace and the girl ""twirls on her tiptoes."" When the sun finally ""pushes through a crack in the clouds,"" Molly opens the door ""and lets the outside in!"" Crimi's inventive use of language adds lyricism and sparkle to her simple tale, while a striking, airy typeface and stylized cut-paper illustrations provide unusual visual exuberance. Calendar artist Riley's palette nicely complements the tale's theme: the deep blues and greens used to depict the natural world effectively counterbalance the warm hues of Molly's vermilion robe, pink dress and other items found in her snug home. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)