From the Publisher
Lehman's creation recalls old-fashioned English adventure stories that use charmed means to bring coddled children outdoors for healthy fun. Now even nonreaders can have a magic adventure story of their very own; they'll treasure it.
Publishers Weekly, Starred
This wordless story is straightforward but not predictable. . . . This appealing rainy-day tale will stir the imagination of those who have ever looked for something to do on a gloomy day.
School Library Journal, Starred
Lehman compacts a wealth of storytelling into her wordless narrative. . . . Another surrealist triumph from a vigorous emerging talent.
Kirkus Reviews, Starred
Once again, Lehman provides purely colored, precisely rendered artwork that capably captures both adventures and emotions.
This wordless book is close kin to Lehman's 2005 Caldecott Honor, The Red Book: again, clean, rectilinear compositions connote confinement of place and spirit, though the heavy, rough-edged drafting has a softer effect here, lightened by vistas of sea, sky, and happy children. The motif of an imaginative journey to a place virtually the opposite of the one escaped also recurs, though with significant differences: except for the not-quite-impossible tunnel and mood-reflecting weather, this is a realistic tale of finding friendship--or, perhaps, of overcoming sadness. . . . And there are plenty of significant visual details and connections to mull over as viewers put these curious events into words.
Like her previous titles (Museum Trip; The Red Book), Lehman's new book follows a lone child on a magical wordless journey. But this one celebrates a slightly more plausible trip, and offers its hero friendship. As the book opens, a boy dressed neatly in short pants and a tie listlessly kicks his ball around a stately gray manor house on a rainy day. He finds an old key under a chair, and, after a couple of false starts, locates the trunk it opens. Within the trunk, a ladder leads down into a tunnel, a long passageway and then a winding staircase up again. He emerges atop a sunny island lighthouse, where he's greeted by three children. In Lehman's watercolors, the landscape emerges in sturdy forms and cheerful solid hues, an ideal setting for the magnificent day the boy spends with his new friends, flying kites and playing catch. The boy's contentment shows in his bare feet and open shirt. Better still, unlike most magical journeys, this one can be repeated. The next day is another wet one, and the boy, hurrying through the tunnel, meets the lighthouse children coming the other way toward him. Lehman's creation recalls old-fashioned English adventure stories that use charmed means to bring coddled children outdoors for healthy fun. Now even nonreaders can have a magic adventure story of their very own; they'll treasure it. Ages 3-5. (Apr.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal
In a mansion by the sea, a lonely boy finds a mysterious key under a chair. Curious to discover what it opens, he tries each lock until finally he succeeds in opening a large trunk with a ladder inside. As he climbs down the ladder, he finds himself in a passageway beneath the sea that eventually leads him to a lighthouse where a group of children and their dog become his instant friends. They have lunch, play ball, fly kites, and play on the beach until it is time for him to retrace his steps. This wordless story is straightforward but not predictable. The mystery of the key, the discovery of the passageway, and the obvious enjoyment of the children at play are all pleasantly depicted in brightly colored, simple watercolor, gouache, and ink illustrations that combine full-page images, spreads, and pages of sequential panels. There are nicely done details such as the elaborate dinner service placed on the table at the mansion and the spiral stairway at the lighthouse. This appealing rainy-day tale will stir the imagination of those who have ever looked for something to do on a gloomy day.
Carol ScheneCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.