cover image If You Didn't Have Me

If You Didn't Have Me

Eva Eriksson, Ulf Nilsson. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $16 (128pp) ISBN 978-0-689-50406-8

A young boy tells about the months he and his baby brother spend on the farm, under their kindly grandmother's care, while Mama and Papa build a house in town. Sights, sounds and smells (""He smelled a little funny, like the insides of old gloves'') are evoked with charm and immediacy. Everyday events, from feeding chickens to resting under a tree, are shown to have potentially vast significance to a small boy with imagination and minimal adult interference. Told in short, episodic chapters, this child's-eye view of rural life in Sweden will make a dandy read-aloud. Ages 6-8. (March)