cover image Book’s Big Adventure

Book’s Big Adventure

Adam Lehrhaupt, illus. by Rahele Jomepour Bell. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5344-2183-7

When Book is shiny and new, it claims a prominent space on the public library’s display table, and everyone wants to check it out. But after “many adventures,” Book’s previously glowing red cover shows wear and tear, and the volume is moved to “a lower, less friendly shelf” where it watches other books that move through circulation—those with “knights or princesses, fancy cars, or fast trains.” There’s a happy ending in store for Book: it’s donated to a giveaway and quickly picked up by a brown-skinned child, who cherishes it. But so many pages are dedicated to Book’s decline and pathos—“Book was lonely. Forgotten. It wondered if its travels were over,” writes Lehrhaupt (Sloth Went)—that readers may find the story arc more about pity than redemption. But Bell’s (Baby’s Opposites) softly lit and textured digital illustrations vividly evoke both a strong sense of place and the pull of the printed page throughout: kids are seen reading in bed, in a tent, even at a basketball game. And she makes the library where Book gets its start so real and welcoming that readers will want to head there themselves. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Alexandra Penfold, Upstart Crow. Illustrator’s agent: Christy Ewers, the CAT Agency. (Feb.) [/em]