cover image Doris


Sarah Jacoby. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-250-82938-2

This limpid story of self-discovery begins in a circus tent, where a dappled gray horse named Doris performs without a mistake (“Clip-clop, clip-clop”) and finds only contentment: “It felt perfect.” Inside the tent, it’s golden and warm; outside, the light is icy blue. Upon noticing “a twinkling... out there,” Doris ventures out into the moonlit landscape, moving her body in new ways. After a minute of hesitation (“She heard home echo in the distance”), she begins to dance in earnest (“clippity-skip-clop-trot”), until she’s “dizzy with moonness. Whoa.” Working digitally and in watercolor and pastels, Jacoby (So Much Snow) shows Doris’s black mane flowing and swaying against fields of wintry blue as she finds a whole new, dancing self. But she’s alone: “Did I wander too far? Am I the only one out here?” Readers see the brown pony before Doris does, a small figure dancing every bit as exuberantly as Doris. They both twirl and stretch as they discover each other as partners (“Whoa,” both of them think) in this story about taking risks to enter a new world with curiosity and joy. Ages 3–6. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.)