cover image Yes Dear

Yes Dear

Diana Wynne Jones. Greenwillow Books, $14 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-11195-3

This prettily creative work exudes a certain storybook charm. Philpot's lushly colored artwork blends folksy details, skewed perspectives, illuminated letters and fancifully bordered pages into a diverting potpourri. The story concerns young Kay, who, finding a bright and yellow and shiny autumn leaf, insists it has magical properties. Her wishes, in fact, come true, though her family members are too preoccupied with their various activities to believe her. Only her grandmother, in the end, supports the child's claims about her leaf--Because I caught one once. Unfortunately, the dramatic possibilities of master fantasy writer Jones's unassuming plot have not been fully explored here. Her sweet though somewhat predictable tale of youngsters' frustration with adult oblivousness to the magic of childhood seems somewhat attenuated. With talk of dragons, and ships, and towers, and faces children will wish to hear more about these potentially intriguing topics, and may be disappointed in this ultimately sedate offering. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)