cover image Lucy's Picture

Lucy's Picture

Nicola Moon. Dial Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-1833-3

Vision is only one means of experiencing one's surroundings, imply the author and artist of this affecting story. When Lucy's class gets ready ``to do some painting,'' Lucy asks to work instead on a collage for her grandfather. Soft reds and blues predominate in Ayliffe's torn-paper collage art, which shows the girl rummaging amid cloth scraps for the perfect items (``She liked plunging her hands deep in the box and feeling with her eyes shut''), then sacrificing her outside playtime to collect ``twigs, leaves, and two small feathers.'' In a final burst of creativity (though not a recommended artistic maneuver), Lucy snips a lock of her hair to simulate a golden retriever's coat. The pictured pooch is her blind grandfather's seeing-eye dog; examining her tactile portrait (reproduced on one of the final pages) a proud Grandpa observes, ``It's the best picture I've ever seen.'' Both Ayliffe's expressive compositions and Moon's straightforward prose-which admirably presents a physical disability here without attendant emotion-convey Lucy's distinctive intensity; her example might well inspire youngsters to fashion similar projects. Ages 3-7. (Mar.)