cover image Where is Papa Now?

Where is Papa Now?

Celeste Conway. Boyds Mills Press, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56397-130-3

Eliza's father has gone to sea in ``a tall white ship called The Lucky Goose '' and, as seasons pass, she asks her mother, ``Where is Papa now?'' Her mother conjures up visions of places along his route--Java, China, Bombay--and describes the rich and varied goods he will buy--puppets, rice and golden cloth. At the end of each exchange, Eliza prays for her father's safe return; in the last scene, she leaps into his arms. The text is emotionally flat, little more than a vehicle for Conway's sumptuous cut-paper designs. Her theatrical artwork, however, is a fascinating jumble of styles and cultures. Eliza and her mother live surrounded by Japanese prints, English farmhouse furniture, exotic fruits and blossoms, chintz and peacock feathers--all lush in color, a perfect setting for a costume ball. Unfortunately, the scenery adds no drama or feeling to the story. Ages 2-6. (Jan.)