cover image One Horse Waiting for Me

One Horse Waiting for Me

Patricia Mullins. Simon & Schuster, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-81381-8

Airy collage art, skillfully fashioned from tissue and Japanese papers, contributes the horsepower to this counting book by the illustrator of Hattie and the Fox and The Magic Saddle. Dominated by an exquisite, cool palette of slate blues, sea greens and teal tones, Mullins's diverse cavalry ranges from realistic, sharply focused show horses to ethereal, winged horses ""high in a cloud"" to painted ponies on a carousel and fancifully imagined, luminous sea horses. Though the fairly limited narrative (""Seven horses all shapes and sizes,/ Eight horses wearing ribbons and prizes"") lacks the substance and esprit of the artwork, equestrians aren't likely to complain. Mullins's blue-ribbon pictures, offering such inventive equines, will likely set young imaginations galloping to the finish. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)