APT. 3 by Ezra Jack Keats

APT. 3

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Proceeding further in the direction set by Goggles of smudgy, darker, here almost somber backgrounds, Keats turns From the well known Peter to portray an older, white (or racially neutral) boy in an equally dingy setting. A search for the source of the "sad and lonely" harmonica music he hears through the rain is the pretext for a tour of Sam's building, culminating in the apartment of a blind man who turns out to be the harmonica player. The man plays for Sam and his little brother: "He played purples and greys and rain and smoke and the sounds of night. . . . After a while, Sam turned to the man and said, 'Would you like to take a walk with us tomorrow?' . . . Then the room filled with wild, noisy, happy music" (but the colors on the page are still those of rain and smoke). Keats' reluctance to coast with the successful Peter stories is understandable. It's too bad that the story he invents here is just a sentimental occasion for his backgrounds, but the backgrounds are impressive as usual, and the tone as well as the hero are mature enough for new readers too sophisticated for the usual picture book fare.
Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 1971
ISBN: 0140565078
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Macmillan
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1971


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