cover image Click!


Jeffrey Ebbeler. Holiday House, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-3295-0

The hero of artist Ebbeler’s (Tiger in My Soup) authorial debut looks like one of those old-fashioned drinking birds, with long legs, a pointy yellow beak, and a jaunty hat. It’s actually a bedside lamp, and a boy who is headed for bed turns it off, pulling the chain where its tail should be. “Click,” goes the lamp. “Yawn,” says the boy. Light shines through the open door, and the lamp-bird—viewers will quickly realize that it is a living being—hears something that needs investigating: “drip, drop, drip.” Turning itself back on, the bird sets off down the hall: “Tip, tap, click, click.” Its glowing bulb casts theatrically deep shadows and makes the bathroom’s chrome fixtures gleam. A faucet is dripping, and the bird turns it off with an acrobatic maneuver: “Ahh!” Downstairs, the bird sweeps up, adjusts a noisy rocking chair, and closes a window before returning to the bedside table. Not much happens, it’s true, but Ebbeler focuses on events with cinematic vividness, and the chance to be in on the bird-lamp’s secret activity offers a satisfaction all its own. Ages 3–6. (May)