Evocative details make this simple story a quiet delight.
Two peas “pop out” of their pods to “get some air” and end up having a little adventure in the garden. Fleeing from would-be predators, they find a safe place under the ground to hide. Of course, being peas, they end up sprouting into pea plants that create new peas, one of which sets out at the end of the story on its own adventure, thereby continuing the circle of nature. Rivoal’s soft black-and-white etchings (the only color is the green of the peas) render a dreamlike, stylized depiction of vegetation that harkens back to the jungle paintings of fellow French artist Henri Rousseau. This book can only be fully appreciated by lingering on each spread, and the minimal text encourages such close looking. Flora and fauna are detailed with loving care and humor—a carrot with glasses, an expressive turnip and a cat hidden until the mischievous peas point it out are all waiting to be discovered by readers. Depictions of treasures lost (a ring, a key and a toy truck, among others) in the soil enhance the story’s theme of the mystery and magic of the world and the wonder of seeing it through new eyes.
A spot of exquisite rest in an overstimulated world. (Picture book. 2-5)