cover image Adelaide


Tomi Ungerer. Phaidon, $14.95 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7148-6083-1

Phaidon continues its reissue program of Ungerer's work with the 1959 story of a kangaroo born with wings, who leaves her parents to explore the wide world beyond. The artwork has been color-corrected in this edition and the text updated; matching the restraint of Ungerer's storytelling is a simplified palette of pale blue and brown, well suited both to the desert in which Adelaide grows up and to the streets of Paris where she makes her home, becoming a stage performer, pulling off a daring rescue, and eventually falling in love and starting a family of her own. Certain details%E2%80%94a pilot's biplane, a "rich maharajah" riding an elephant, a 1920s-era taxicab%E2%80%94will seem quaint, but others transcend the decades. (Air travelers will empathize with the thorough inspection Adelaide receives from French customs officials, as one shoves a hand into her pouch.) It's a story about realizing one's potential and making use of one's gifts, no matter how unusual%E2%80%94an evergreen message if ever there was one. Ages 4%E2%80%938. (May)