cover image Mandy


Barbara D. Booth. HarperCollins, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-10338-5

The silent world of a deaf child brims with imagined sounds and intriguing observations. As Mandy and her grandmother pass an afternoon baking cookies, looking at family photos and taking a walk, the girl wonders at all the sounds she cannot hear: the rustling of tree branches, cookie dough dropping onto baking sheets. With such intricate, poignant details, Booth--in her debut--illuminates Mandy's world and gently refocuses the reader's visual and aural perceptions. Far less subtle are the predictable events that unfold when Mandy's grandmother loses her cherished pin outdoors just as a storm threatens. Mandy's appeal as an engaging, inquisitive child needs no reinforcement from a cliched tale of heroism, and the narrative falters under its clumsiness. LaMarche's luminescent paintings capture a wealth of emotion, touchingly underscoring the importance of visual expression in nonverbal communication. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)