A boy journeys to a mysterious land when his drawings blast off the page in this wordless, haunting picture book.
Doodles of rockets in flight adorn the room’s walls. A small, pale-skinned, towheaded child (identified as a boy by the book title and flap copy) works on the latest sketch. This rocket, however, flies off the page as he watches it disappear into the night. The boy draws a car and a ramp. Soon, he’s in pursuit, voyaging to a land where giraffes, elephants, and lions roam. A new friend comes in the form of a dark-haired, pale-skinned girl, who helps the little explorer find the wayward rocket. Lehrer moves the tale at a muted pace, with a faintly disjointed sense of momentum. The boy and girl ride on elephants and sit among the animals as he draws a picture of her. This adventure ends too soon. Rocket strapped to the car, the boy departs into the sky, returning to the room (and to the page) where it all began. Back in his bed, the boy wakes up. Was it all a dream? The author’s gorgeous graphite illustrations emphasize and enhance the tale’s otherworldly undercurrent, but it’s mostly anchored by a quiet curiosity embodied in the boy. Still, some readers may want more, and they may take a cue from the final image, of the boy drawing the girl from memory, to make it for themselves.
An evocative—albeit restrained—odyssey into the imagination. (Picture book. 4-8)