cover image In the Meadow of Fantasies

In the Meadow of Fantasies

Hadi Mohammadi, trans. from the Persian by Sara Khalili, illus. by Nooshin Safakhoo. Elsewhere, $20 (42p) ISBN 978-1-939810-90-8

Not a folktale, not a poem, not a dream, but some whirling mixture of the three, this lulling recitation by Iranian author Mohammadi affirms generosity as a natural impulse. A paper-white girl in bed beside a wheelchair imagines into life the seven horses of a mobile that hangs above her. Straightforward lines categorize the dot-eyed equine beasts: “The first horse was white./ The second horse was black/... But the seventh horse had no color at all.” Illustrator Safakhoo represents the girl, the horses, and their exploits in finely hatched ink lines and muted colors. With droll humor, she draws a large aboveground pool in which the horses bathe to give a patch of their color to the seventh horse, whom the girl pushes in off a diving board: “Now the seventh horse was of every color.” The seventh horse has no home, but the others give it parts of theirs; the seventh horse has no dreams, but the others share theirs, and the transformation slowly brings color to the girl’s world. Repeating phrases and softly amusing drawings give this imaginative realm of loving-kindness a gossamer touch. Ages 3–7. (Nov.)