cover image HAPPY WITH ME


Leo Timmers, . . Tallfellow/Smallfellow, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-931290-08-1

"All day long I'm me, but/ every night I don't have to be./ I just open my favorite book,/ Look at the pictures,/ And before I know it,/ I'm dreaming," begins Belgian author/artist Timmers's bedtime adventure. The theme may be well worn, but the illustrations are imaginative and accomplished. The opening spread features large black type on the left; below, a silver dollar–size circle contains one element (in this case, a teddy bear) of the larger illustration on the right. Framed in white, a portrait shows the boy in bed with his book, sporting a red baseball cap. A matching red background done in thick, vigorous brushstrokes seems to billow like clouds from the bed, where the boy pulls a black-and-white–checked blanket to his chest. Successive spreads show the fellow transformed into various animals—an elephant, a penguin, an octopus—always sporting the red cap. "With eight long arms that wind/ around each other,/ I'd have as much fun as/ four kids together!" accompanies a painting of the octet of appendages busily undertaking as many activities. The next page shows the downside: his tentacles twist around him in a knot. After dreaming that he's a golden bird falling from the sky, the child wakes from his dream to "a brand new day. I think it's time for me to be.../ Me!" With a parting wink, the artist's final image shows a trail of yellow feathers following the boy across the room. Highly visual and plenty of fun. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)