cover image The Highest Mountain of Books in the World

The Highest Mountain of Books in the World

Rocio Bonilla. Peter Pauper, $16.99 (44p) ISBN 978-1-4413-1999-9

A boy discovers the potential of reading in this lushly illustrated story from Spanish author-artist Bonilla. Lucas dreams of flying but his own inventions can’t get him off the ground, and Santa Claus and birthday wishes aren’t any help. “There are other ways to fly, Lucas,” his mother tells him, handing him a book. Most readers will get the message then and there, but it takes much longer for Lucas to figure it out. Instead, he dives into reading with a passion previously reserved for flying as he reads book after book, ignoring the outside world entirely while sitting on an ever-growing pile of books that attracts media and tourist attention. Though Lucas’s eventual realization that “Even though he couldn’t fly, his imagination could” is far from unique to this story, Bonilla’s irreverent mixed-media images leave no question about her artistic talents. Visual homages to The Little Prince and The Jungle Book, as well as details like a roasted turkey sent up to Lucas via helium balloon, give children plenty of reasons to pore over this book, and maybe follow Lucas’s example and seek out other ones, too. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)