cover image No One but You

No One but You

Douglas Wood, illus. by P.J. Lynch. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-3848-1

Titles of this nature usually accompany a tribute to the unconditional love between parent and child. Here, however, the subject is the relationship of the child to the world, and the magical combination of acuity, empathy, and enthusiasm that determines individual perspective: "No one else in the world can look up at the stars,/ these stars, right now,/ with your own eyes,/ and feel your own special place on this earth," writes Wood (who collaborated with Lynch on Granddad's Prayer of the Earth). Lynch's generously scaled (and occasionally almost life-size) canvas-textured oil portraits capture children's epiphanies from a variety of angles and framings, with the most effective images offering readers a vantage point that a snapshot can't: when a child savors the chill of bare toes dipped into a pond, Lynch provides a literal fish-eye view that looks up through the creamy, dappled aqua water. But the beauty of the pictures can't overcome the book's lack of even a modest dramatic arc. The examples, however heartfelt, feel undifferentiated, and the overall impression is that of a catalogue rather than a reverie. Ages 6%E2%80%93up. (May)