cover image Milo and the Magical Stones

Milo and the Magical Stones

Marcus Pfister. NorthSouth, $18.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-55858-682-6

Pfister (The Rainbow Fish) continues to appeal to the magpie instincts of the very young with his signature glittering foil overlays. In this tall-format book, about a mouse who finds a glowing stone that helps ward off the cold, dark days of winter, he adds an additional visual twist. At a pivotal point the remaining pages literally split in two horizontally, offering readers a choice between a ""happy"" and a ""sad"" ending. The high road finds Milo and his fellow mice heeding a wise elder's advice (""If you take something from the island, you must give something in return"") and acting in a responsible, environmentally thoughtful manner. The low road leads to greed, squabbling and destruction. It's a clever little parable--if a trifle predictable--told in restrained, fluid prose. Pfister's characteristic soft-focus watercolors, rendered in quiet hues of grays, blues and greens, provide an effective counterpoint to the bright gold of the shiny stones. Pfister fans will definitely want to add this one to their collections. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)