cover image Dusk Explorers

Dusk Explorers

Lindsay Leslie, illus. by Ellen Rooney. Page Street Kids, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-62414-871-2

Leslie describes the jewel of neighborhood playtime—the hour when the sun sets and dusk falls, before parents call their children inside. Free verse celebrates tag players who “love to sprint between huddled homes,” nature explorers who give the toads they catch “funny matching names,” and “curbside whisperers” who “snicker at the stories they dare not/ share with anyone else.” Collage-style spreads by Rooney feature crisp-edged figures frolicking against backgrounds of painted texture. Gradually, the sky dims as the sun sets in washes of purple and gold. “TIME TO COME HOME!” parents call. In Leslie’s lyrical narrative (a child finds “courage in the roughness of bark”), children are observed in a work that is as interested in poetry as it is in the busy, unencumbered experience of exploratory play. Ages 4–8. (June)