cover image Harry's Stormy Night

Harry's Stormy Night

Una Leavy. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $16 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-689-50625-3

When a winter storm knocks out the power one night, Harry and his family harness their own resources. Mom and Harry make an apple tart in the wood-burning stove, Harry puts on a shadow show and Mom tells stories of her childhood. But when Harry goes to bed, ``the branches rattled the windowpane, and the wind howled.'' Harry finds comfort by reaching out to comfort others: he calms his ``scared'' teddy bear, and when he hears Baby Tom cry out, he soothes him, too, and falls asleep next to his crib. Although slim in plot, the book is rich in atmosphere. Both Leavy, a British poet making her picture book debut, and the seasoned Utton (Jennifer's Room; The Bible Storybook; both reviewed Feb. 27) capture the blissfully comforting contrast of the loving home and the blustery storm. Utton's watercolors show tenderness and a keen domestic sense (toys are stuffed under the bed, the kitchen counters have just enough clutter); he and the author highlight the memorable components of a familiar experience. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)