cover image An Autumn Tale

An Autumn Tale

David Updike. Pippin Press, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-945912-02-6

Homer, the boy of Updike's A Winter Journey , returns with his dog Sophocles. He's a wistful boy, who plans to turn a rather large pumpkin in the garden into a jack-o'-lantern mask for himself. But when he has carved a face that looks to him like the moon, and puts the head on, he perceives the world differently in the evening light. The trees have pulled up their roots and have gathered near the pond, a ritual they perform once a month. Because they believe that Homer is a pumpkin, they accept him easily. But he can't pull off the head to prove that he is a boy, an effect which lasts only until dawn, when order is restored. Updike's language is poetic and Parker's evocative watercolors feed the mysterious aspects of the tale. The book will have most appeal for highly imaginative children; all those who have been touched by the eeriness of an autumn evening will find both words and paintings enchanting. Ages 7-up. (Oct.)