cover image Around Me

Around Me

Erica Magnus. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, $13 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-09756-1

This quiet concept book is a happy hymn to nature as well as an enlightening consideration of perspective. Operating much like a video camera, Magnus uses pages with die-cut windows to alternately focus on an isolated detail of an illustration, followed by a panoramic scene that encompasses the detail. For example, the text ``Above my head in all the sky, / a single cloud that's floating by'' is accompanied by the view of a fluffy white spot on a blue background, but turning the page reveals a larger scene where the white spot is a stray feather in a small bird bath. Magnus's spare but lilting text is imbued with a sense of wonder that perfectly matches paintings that depict with great skill the sunlight, shadow and moonglow of the natural world. Children will relish relating their own backyard adventures to the thought-provoking ideas suggested here. Ages 3-up. (Apr.)