cover image The Lettuce Leaf Birthday Letter

The Lettuce Leaf Birthday Letter

Linda Taylor. Dial Books, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-1454-0

Brilliantly colored and spilling over with comical particulars, Durrell's (Mouse Tails; It's My Birthday!) buoyant pictures deserve top billing here. At the start of debut author Taylor's genial story, Duck decides to make a painting as a birthday gift for his best friend, Goose. Strapping a lettuce leaf to his easel, the beret-wearing artist (liberally splashing himself with paint) creates a masterpiece and bids ""mailrabbit"" to deliver it to the birthday girl. The absent-minded but resourceful bunny immediately forgets for whom the missive is intended, and attempts to give it to various animal residents--each imbued with his or her own distinct personality, wryly fleshed out in Durrell's art--along his delivery route. Youngest readers will be tickled to have been one step ahead of the muddle-headed mailrabbit throughout this merry romp. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)