cover image Today, Maybe

Today, Maybe

Dominique Demers, trans. from the French by Sheila Fischman, illus. by Gabrielle Grimard, Orca, $19.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-55469-400-6

In this original combination of traditional fairy tale elements, a girl who lives alone in the forest waits for someone (who, even she's not sure) that she is convinced will appear. "Today, maybe he'll come," she tells her bird. Visited by a cast of fairy tale characters—thieves, a wolf, a witch—the girl stands her ground: "You can't change me into an elephant," she tells the witch, "because the person I'm waiting for won't recognize me." When a prince shows up, readers will think, Surely, he's the one!—but he isn't. "The prince thought the little girl was so perfect he wanted to marry her. The little girl had to explain that would be impossible." Grimard's watercolor and gouache spreads teeter on the edge of syrupy—the girl's golden hair, bee-stung lips, and moody expression don't convey her strong personality—but the artist's skillful use of space for bold closeups give the book persuasive power. Whether readers agree that the special someone is worth it (he's a bear), Demers's tale has a confidential, knowing air that some readers will like very much. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)