cover image Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker: A Peek-Through Story

Fairy Tales for Mr. Barker: A Peek-Through Story

Jessica Ahlberg. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-8124-1

Ahlberg (The Goldilocks Variations) delivers a lighthearted romp through several fairy tales, with cutout doors and windows helping guide the action from one story to the next. After Lucy’s dog, Mr. Barker, dashes out the window, she follows him into a house where a “golden-haired girl” is enjoying porridge, a home made of straw, and one where they are dwarfed by enormous furniture. “Oh!” Lucy remarks each time. “I think I know where we are.” In many ways, this feels like a tender, 21st-century companion to Ahlberg’s parents’ classic Each Peach Pear Plum; as in that book, a gentle sense of humor (this giant up the bean stalk has knuckle tattoos) and cozy, detail-rich artwork should keep children engrossed and amused for hours. Ages 2–5. (Mar.)