cover image Miranda's Smile

Miranda's Smile

Thomas Locker. Dial Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-1688-9

Miranda's father is an artist, and she visits his studio to bring him newly baked chocolate-chip cookies. `` `What a wonderful smile you have,' her father said, looking at her affectionately. `I'd love to paint a picture that captures that special look.' '' And so she sits for him. He can't quite get the smile right, though, and becomes increasingly frustrated (`` `I can't do it,' he said in disgust''). As Miranda leaves to give him some privacy, he sees at last that ``the smile is in her eyes.'' Success! Locker ( The Mare on the Hill ; Catskill Eagle ) tells of more than a father's love of his daughter's smile (and her cookies): his story enacts the struggle of creation, though in a fairly conventional way, even suggesting the role of muse for Miranda. The work is abstract, illustrated with pretty scenes of the studio but lacking action--it's an awkward combination of subtle developments and overstated emotions. All ages. (Sept.)