How far can a child’s imagination go?
A lone, bluish car departs from the crowded city, a mishmash of drab colors and almost indecipherable edifices. “Are we nearly there?” asks an unseen passenger, as woodland creatures tower in an encroaching forest. In a clearing stands a red house with an overactive chimney. “Ah, here at last,” says the child. It’s Grandma’s birthday, and a crowd is celebrating inside. The despondent child sits alone among the chattering adults until one of the boisterous giants suggests playing in Grandma’s garden. So Arianne goes outside. At first, boredom prevails there as well. But then a little stone draws her attention to some flittering insects. These immense insects (or is Arianne now minuscule?) soar over mountaintops, and Arianne must grab onto a bit of dandelion puff to give chase. Once atop a mountain’s peak, Arianne’s fun continues. This grand miniadventure requires readers’ willingness to follow these whims, and Picard wisely lets her scarce words serve as guideposts for them. Suddenly strolling alongside dinosaurs and capturing stars seem plausible. Ferrer’s unusually whimsical interpretation of an old trope (the child in nature) merits the imaginations of its readers. Each full-page picture offers a singular perspective created with vibrant watercolor and bold pen strokes. Arianne and the adults, meanwhile, range in skin color from ghostly white to deeply pink.
A playful marvel. (Picture book. 3-5)