cover image ROSA'S ROOM


Barbara Bottner, , illus. by Beth Spiegel. . Peachtree, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56145-302-3

Bottner (Pish Posh ) gives a timeless theme a warm if predictable cast in this tale of a girl who moves into a new house. At first glance Rosa's bedroom looks vast and—despite several pieces of furniture—"it seemed empty." Effectively depicting the room from a range of perspectives, including one view from the ceiling, the gouache, watercolor and ink art by first-time illustrator Spiegel underscores the loneliness of Rosa's room. The pictures take a fanciful turn as the child imagines her space lavishly decorated, with elaborate wall coverings, chandelier and a water-spewing fountain featuring a statue of an angel. She later dreams that a bedspread of fresh flowers, carried by butterflies and birds, covers her. Though Rosa unpacks and displays some beloved possessions, hangs a poster on the wall, and helps her mother make a bedspread out of festive, flowered fabric, still something is missing. The child fills that void after spying, from her window, a girl flying a kite on the lawn below (whom observant readers will have noticed in the background in several previous frames). The once bare bedroom suddenly appears cheerfully cluttered as, in the story's rosy conclusion, this new friend visits and loves "every single thing that was in Rosa's room. Especially Rosa." A reassuring read for girls anticipating a move. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)