cover image Out on a Limb

Out on a Limb

Jordan Morris, illus. by Charlie Mylie. Abrams, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-5365-7

A child experiences a range of emotions while recovering from a broken leg in Morris’s evocative debut, accompanied by absorbing, digitally colored graphite illustrations by Mylie (Something for You). When Lulu, who’s light-skinned and wears two dark pigtails, breaks the tibia and fibula of her right leg, good-humored scenes show her surveying a “sympathy trove” of cards and gifts, traveling to school in a wagon, and getting her cast signed by classmates. But the “special attention” soon wears off, and Lulu grows uncomfortable: “Her leg was sore—itchy and twitchy, trapped inside its yellow shell.” When it’s finally time for the cast to come off, Lulu’s leg is free, but worry and knowledge that “bad things could happen” keep her from resuming her usual activities. Interspersed with these events are wordless narrative spreads that follow a vibrant yellow envelope addressed to Lulu making an extraordinary journey: from a mailbox, onto the sole of someone’s shoe, into raccoon paws, and carried aloft by a bird. The dual arcs converge slowly, suggestive of the patience Lulu must have as she heals emotionally as well as physically, and the uplifting story concludes with a moment of serendipity that encourages Lulu to overcome her fears. Ages 4–8. Agent (for Morris and Mylie): Hannah Mann, Writers House. (Feb.)