Snow outside is no obstacle to world-spanning adventures inside for a child and her toys.
“Let’s go adventuring!” suggests “the Child.” Without further ado, she and companions Rocking Horse, Velvet Cat, Blue Elephant, Russian Doll, and Pirate are careening through snowy mountains, sailing over moonlit seas, snoozing in a desert oasis, and playing with monkeys in a jungle. At each stop the quick-thinking Child heroically delivers her party from an exciting threat—a toothy yeti, a sea monster, a wicked genie—that drives the travelers on, until at last a wild ride down a foaming waterfall deposits them all, safe and sleepy, back in the cozy playroom. In full-bleed jumbles of swirling, close-up action Docampo’s broad-faced figures change garb but not general form (Child, Pirate, and Russian Doll are all white) and switch expressions between glee and apprehension with each page turn. The comments each calls out (“I swim with mermaids and dive for pearls”; “But a wicked genie traps us in a deep, dark, [sic] cave!”) serve both to build scenarios and to preserve the breathless pacing. The peaceful closer leaves Child and all dozing intimately in each other’s laps or arms. The Child’s harem costume and the genie smack of Orientalism; the Pirate sports both a peg leg and an eye patch.
Crossing the ocean like the Child and her friends, this mildly precious 2011 tale joins a plethora of similar journeys tempting younger readers to embark on imaginary flights. (Picture book. 6-8)