cover image The Flying Hand of Marco B.

The Flying Hand of Marco B.

Richard Leiter, illus. by Shahar Kober. Sleeping Bear, $15.99 (24p) ISBN 978-1-58536-888-4

Like many parents, Marco's mother cautions her son to keep his hand inside the car while they're driving; like many kids, he doesn't listen. But after Marco is swept out the window and into the sky, his initial glee turns to worry: "The earth's so big, so blue, so vast./ How'd I get so high... so fast?/ It's scary this far off the ground./ How'm I gonna get back down?" Leiter's background in creating advertising jingles is on full display in his first children's book; there are very few hiccups in his colloquial, syncopated rhymes, which virtually beg to be set to music. Despite Marco's fears as he enters the stratosphere, Kober (the Engineer Ari series) keeps the mood light: as Marco hovers far above the Earth, he shares (outer) space with a three-eyed alien in a flying saucer, a Laika-esque dog in a space capsule, and a stray astronaut who has snagged an orange balloon that has floated up along with Marco. It's a cheerful flight of fancy that should send imaginations soaring. Ages 5%E2%80%937. Illustrator's agency: Shannon Associates. (Apr.)