cover image Mabel and Sam at Home: One Brave Journey in Three Adventures

Mabel and Sam at Home: One Brave Journey in Three Adventures

Linda Urban, illus. by Hadley Hooper. Chronicle, $17.99 (60p) ISBN 978-1-4521-3996-8

Mabel and Sam have just moved into a new home. They think that with all the unloading and bustling about, it’s likely they’ll get “tripped over or smooshed or trod upon.” But over the course of one day (and three chapters), the two siblings use pretend play and empty moving boxes to help them weather the big transition. By the close of the final chapter, featuring an imaginary trip through space, the children have realized that the move was for the best (“Our old planet was getting crowded,” Mabel says) and that their new home has plenty of potential to be “Planet Perfecto.” Urban’s plentiful text could have benefited from some tightening, but Hooper’s images, created with printmaking techniques, are beautifully realized; clearly, her imagination is equal to those of her characters. Each chapter is built around a color (navy, yellow, and gray-green, respectively) and mixes fully rendered characters with impressionistic settings and dappled textures, resulting in pages that brim with reassuring humor and lovely graphic nuances. Ages 5–8.[em] (June) [/em]