cover image Maybe It's a Pirate

Maybe It's a Pirate

Judy Hindley. Thomasson Grant & Howell, $6.98 (1pp) ISBN 978-1-56566-016-8

The often familiar nighttime apprehension of children grips the creative girl in this emboldening bedtime tale. Hindley's ( Uncle Harold and the Green Hat ) narrator, Emily, who speaks in a lilting voice, glimpses ``a tiny little sparkle/ just behind the closet door,'' and peers at the keyhole from under her covers. She envisions the possible sources for such a star-like light--soon her blue sheet looks to her like an ocean with a castle, her patchwork quilt like a landscape with tumbling, multi-patterned fields. As the youngster conjures fairy-tale fantasies of a witch, a princess and the slightly scary, eponymous pirate, debut illustrator Young contributes watercolors that suggest the well-worn feel of rumpled sheets and the comforting company of favorite stuffed animals. Rather than cowering in uncertainty, Emily demonstrates--in loosely rendered pictures that match the tale's harum-scarum tone--admirable curiosity as she cautiously investigates the forbidding closet. Hindley's soothing resolution deftly dissolves tension, demonstrating that fear of the unknown can be conquered. Ages 3-up. (Oct.)