cover image The Park in the Dark

The Park in the Dark

Martin Waddell. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, $11.95 (26pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08516-2

``Me and Loopy and Little Gee,'' are the stuffed animals (a monkey, an elephant and a puppy) who make their way to the park each night after their young owner has gone to sleep. Out the window, through alleys, across light-swept streets they travel, and only Little Gee is afraid. And then, the ``Thing'' comes--a train passing the park--and the three scamper home before first light. The graceful mood of the text contrasts aptly with the playful postures of the toys, who take care of each other like three siblings--the bigger one carries the smaller, and they buck up each other's courage. Firth washes her pictures with soft blues and other dusty colors, rendering each dark corner safe. The abrupt ending feels forced, but that's easily forgiven. These three friends make the nighttime world a welcome place. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)