cover image The Pirates of Bedford Street

The Pirates of Bedford Street

Rachel Isadora. Greenwillow Books, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-05206-5

In another display of uncommon versatility, Isadora presents a story that is something of a departure from Ben's Trumpet and her other splendid books. Joey walks home slowly from a movie matinee, stopping to draw pictures in chalk of the film's pirate chief Redbeard and crew, who are pursued by the noble Captain Blackhawk. At the boy's apartment building the super, Mrs. Miller, catches him drawing outside and tells Joey's father (as she had often warned she would). With his father's help, Joey erases the graffiti, and Mrs. Miller gives the artist another way of expressing himself. Isadora's imagination and skills create the brightly colored illustrations of the children and adults, all expressive and convincingly human. But the truly surprising parts in this lark are the author's vivid painting of the movie's swashbuckling scenes, conveying the thrills that Joey can only attempt with his chalked figures. Ages 4-up. (April)