cover image One Lighthouse, One Moon

One Lighthouse, One Moon

Anita Lobel. Greenwillow Books, $16.99 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-688-15539-1

Lobel (Alison's Zinnia) covers the days of the week, the months of the year and a nautical count from one to 10 (""One Lighthouse, One Moon"") in this eclectic, quirky triptych of a picture book. A cat named Nini acts as the thread that ties them all together; she introduces each segment perched on an armchair, then sneaks into nearly every illustration as either an observer or a participant. In richly tinted watercolor and gouache paintings, Lobel rolls out the colors and the days of the week in a section titled ""All Week Long,"" via the footwear of a girl who appears only from the knees down (""Black shoes on Monday. Red shoes on Tuesday"" and so on). Each painting conveys details of the nameless girl's life: on Saturday she dances in pink ballet slippers; she wears white with her Sunday best. The opener for the progression of months in ""Nini's Year"" shows a 12-panel framed picture, each featuring a symbol associated with its month. The following pages elaborate on each (""In September Nini played in the autumn leaves. In October Nini posed on a pumpkin""); cat lovers will notice the physical change in Nini in December as she waits for ""good things""--kittens (the fireplace mantle shows Christmas and Kwanza cards and a menorah). The three-pronged format is refreshingly different, and Lobel segues seamlessly from one theme to the next. Ages 4-up. (Apr.)