cover image The Walloping Window-Blind

The Walloping Window-Blind

Jim LaMarche, Charles E. Echarles Edw Carryl. HarperCollins, $16 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-688-12517-2

Like the wacky crew of the ship in Carryl's classic nonsense poem, readers will ``cheerily put to sea'' in this captivating picture book. With his brush dipped in the same luminous colors that lit up The Rainbabies , LaMarche puts a fresh face on the adventures aboard the Window-blind , here presented as a highly original craft (part airplane, part sailing ship) with a multicultural crew composed entirely of children. Larger-than-life perspectives invite readers to step right in and participate, whether the cast is dipping the cook ``in a tub of his gluesome food'' or watching the ``apparently mad'' gunner ``fire salutes in the captain's boots / In the teeth of a booming gale.'' LaMarche's gleeful illustrations capture the spirit of this rollicking read-aloud; there's a sense of joy and abandon in his artwork, as well as genuine wonder, which taps deeply into the intensely felt imaginary worlds of children. The result is pure magic. Ages 4-up. (Apr.)