cover image My House

My House

Lisa Desimini. Henry Holt & Company, $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-3144-7

Desimini's (Moon Soup) distinctive and innovative artwork here adopts the language of collage with a combination of paintings, photographs and other objects. As she presents a house in all weathers and shows its ever-changing facade, her brief text serves mainly as a springboard for stunning illustrations; some lines stand out nonetheless (``It comes alive in the spring and shimmers and sizzles on hot summer days''). The titular house, a friendly looking shack with a witch's-hat roof, appears in each spread in varying guises: its roof explodes with flowers; it casts a long shadow across a blooming garden; lightning strikes in snaking forks but the house ``is safe in a storm''; and stars like fireworks cascade behind the house ``filled with dreams.'' The mixed-media format allows for plenty of pizzazz, yet for all the showiness, the book is reassuring. The hidden details in the art will appeal to children, and the sophisticated approach may stretch their imaginations. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)