cover image Some Things I’ve Lost

Some Things I’ve Lost

Cybèle Young. Groundwood (PGW, dist.), $19.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-55498-339-1

Young’s books have long stood out for their distinctive combination of imagination and artistry, and she pushes both ideas to new heights as she transforms the mundane into the fantastical through jaw-dropping paper sculptures. Twelve misplaced objects—a roller skate, sun visor, change purse, etc.—appear against white pages, labeled as though they were evidence (evidence of absentmindedness, perhaps). “Fig. 3,” a wristwatch last seen in the kitchen (“top drawer with the elastic bands”), has a pale blue band and orange hands. Each right-hand page opens outward, at which point the magic begins. Five paper sculptures depict the watch’s wild transformation as it sprouts legs, forms a cluster of pods, and eventually turns into what resembles a giant, spiky clam. Eyeglasses morph into a resplendent fish with delicate orange fins like pencil shavings; a guitar case self-replicates à la a regenerating starfish as it expands into a poinsettialike bloom. An aquatic theme gradually makes itself clear, culminating in a delightful seabed ecosystem. Humorous, haunting, and just a touch creepy, it’s a singular vision of the possibilities hidden in the everyday. Ages 4–7. (Sept.)