PW Reviews 2019 November #2
"I found them, or maybe they found me," Martin (Snow & Rose) writes in an introductory note about the fragments, which she says she came upon in surprising places. In this album, pages feature enigmatic handwritten notes on creamy envelopes and other scraps of paper opposite exquisitely painted animals and doll-like women and children in fanciful dress, expressions of doubt on their faces. A note across from a woman dressed in a silk robe reads, "Her/ heart was the/ kind that beat/ like a bird's/ wings." In some paintings, animals—a lion, an ibis, a bat—pose with human figures, offering silent companionship. In others, humans wear masks ("She always wanted/ to be/ a bear"). Romantic seascapes carry silent menace as gigantic sea creatures threaten three-masted schooners: "Where/ they were going,/ there were no maps," one note says ominously. Throughout, the human characters appear poised and self-conscious, as if awaiting further instructions. Only a few—a girl who confronts a sea monster, another who rides a bat at night—seem to have plans of their own. It's a stirring sheaf of variations on the theme of luxurious eccentricity. Ages 8–12. (Feb.)
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