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As in his interpretation of John Coltrane in Giant Steps, Raschka now turns Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf into poetry and pictures. The illustrations present the story as a theatrical performance (action unfolds alternately in freestanding illustrations and on an elaborate stage), but without an orchestra. As Peter cavorts, calmly but boldly opening himself to the climactic encounter with the wolf, Raschka conveys the mounting suspense in lilting words, swerving zigzags and curves. Carefree Peter is supported by an animal chorus in sound poetry, including a blue bird who speaks in stutters and rhyme, and of course the predator, who swallows the duck with a panting, "Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme... GULP!" Raschka's pictures-of characters venturing close to the wolf's bear-trap jaws, of the cat's enormous face looming over a tiny Peter-gain extra energy from geometrically shaped color blocks on the same spreads; each character is assigned a certain spectrum-e.g., red for the wolf-like the solo instruments in Prokofiev. His book best rewards patient readers capable of linking the continuous dialogue and amped-up visuals in the action spreads with scenes viewed within a complex, 3D cut-paper theater. One reading will not be enough to appreciate the artist's keen attention to detail. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.