cover image Walking Through the Jungle

Walking Through the Jungle

Julie Lacome. Candlewick Press (MA), $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56402-137-3

Part nursery rhyme, part guessing game, Lacome's playful book of paper collages conducts an imaginary jungle tour. ``Walking through the jungle, / What do you see? / Do you hear a noise? / What could it be?'' reads the text on the first spread, which shows a toddler against a blank background contemplating the sound ``ssssss.'' Turn the page, and that sibilant sound can be traced to a snake looping its way through a lush tropical wilderness. Illustrations integrate the foreign and the familiar (for example, some trees and vines sport heart-shaped leaves), and subtle variations in color disguise the frequent starkness of the cut-paper medium. Clean patterns and benevolent depictions of the animals balance the impact of Lacome's deep, dramatic palette and dense compositions--while her jungle teems with exotica, it is never chaotic. Layout and pacing are effectively varied, likely to keep vicarious jungle-goers on their toes. Ages 2-up. (Mar.)