Noyes (It's Vladimir!
) tells the story of a girl whose father, caught up in Holland's tulip mania, puts his finances ahead of his love for her. Ibatoulline's (The Animal Hedge
) meticulously executed gouaches and ink vignettes pay homage to the Dutch masters: their use of lustrous golds and browns, their proclivity for painting subjects illuminated by candlelight and their careful attention to domestic interiors. Tiny, lace-capped Hana works to free her father from the greed that overtakes him when he begins to speculate in tulip bulbs. The details of their relationship before the craze provide the story's strongest moments. On a bench in the garden every evening, Papa obediently faints dead away, whereupon "Hana the Renowned Physician" revives him; then "Hana prescribed a kiss. Or a race to the woodpile. Or a noseful of roses." Her efforts to attract his attention as he drifts into the world of high finance make her a sympathetic heroine even if the writing grows overblown ("Papa forgot to kiss the tip of her nose, which twitched with waiting"). Younger readers who will likely be daunted by the dense text, may wonder what has happened to Papa—is he sick? A criminal? It's hard to explain in simple words, though Mama tries ("A tulip's beauty is great, but greed is greater"). Papa's love, restored in the conclusion, will likely reassure youngsters, however, and Ibatoulline's paintings provide unalloyed pleasure. Ages 6-10. (Sept.)