cover image My New Sandbox

My New Sandbox

Julia Gorton, Donna Jakob. Hyperion Books, $13.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0172-5

A selfish boy has a change of heart in this predictable but pleasant picture book. At first, the narrator banishes a black bug, red bird, spotted dog and blond-pigtailed girl from his pristine sandbox. Yet after he grows lonely, he realizes his mistake: ""Come back, black bug. Come back and waddle with me in the sand. Come back, red bird. Come back and search with me in the sand.... There is room for all of us."" Jakob's (My Bike; Tiny Toes) repetitions welcome beginning readers despite her well-worn theme. But credit for the volume's fresh appearance belongs to illustrator/designer Gorton (The Gumdrop Tree). Her clean-edged, exaggeratedly geometric shapes and crisp colors appear computer-generated; in fact, as grainy, shaded areas suggest, she renders the images with airbrushed acrylics. Variable typography emphasizes Jakob's key words, and the large script is easy to follow with a pointed finger. Ages 3-7. (Apr.)