Gr 2-5-The opening line of this story reads, "After the death of his child, Mr. Man left everything behind." Through a somber urban landscape reminiscent of the World War I era but with contemporary touches, the protagonist wanders the world, holding his son's teddy bear and carrying a chair on his back. Mr. Man appears aimless, although he gravitates toward locations that children enjoy-playgrounds, circuses, the beach. He travels through many countries until he comes to a war-ravaged spot at the end of the world. There he meets an apparently orphaned boy whose remaining possessions are a little wooden chair and a rag doll. Armed with only their chairs and comfort objects, they set out on a journey to destinations unknown. Perhaps something has been lost in the translation from the French because this story is too obscure and philosophical. The intriguing Postimpressionist/modernist style of the visual narrative conveys a certain bleakness and existential angst, but readers are left to wonder if the pictures and text are a commentary on the grieving process, the hopelessness of the human condition, or the devastation of war. The palette warms as Mr. Man comes closer to meeting the child. However, these warmer tones are a bit incongruous in the midst of the scarred, war-torn countryside. Children will be vaguely reassured by the fact that these two lost souls find one another, but are bound to be mystified by the overall point of the tale.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.