cover image War Boy: A Country Childhood

War Boy: A Country Childhood

Michael Foreman. Arcade Publishing, $16.45 (92pp) ISBN 978-1-55970-049-8

Foreman, a much-lauded watercolor illustrator, has put together a book of reminiscence. Set in Suffolk during World War II, when Foreman was very young, the stories meander among small, intriguing details. Bomb shelters, local characters and sweetshop treats are remembered and enlivened with beautiful, evocative illustrations. Foreman's sketches and full-color watercolors are sprinkled across the wide format, while reproductions of airplane specifications and other period details keep this from looking like just another picture book. Similar to Roald Dahl's autobiographical Boy and Going Solo, the book combines pictures and quirky, sometimes dark memories in a not-strictly chronological fashion. Like Dahl's stories, however, Foreman's memoirs charm and amuse while giving a close and personal view of the war. Altogether, this is an unusual and enjoyable book whose audience, while nonspecific, spans age groups and interests. All ages. (Apr.)