From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—In a mansion by the sea, a lonely boy finds a mysterious key under a chair. Curious to discover what it opens, he tries each lock until finally he succeeds in opening a large trunk with a ladder inside. As he climbs down the ladder, he finds himself in a passageway beneath the sea that eventually leads him to a lighthouse where a group of children and their dog become his instant friends. They have lunch, play ball, fly kites, and play on the beach until it is time for him to retrace his steps. This wordless story is straightforward but not predictable. The mystery of the key, the discovery of the passageway, and the obvious enjoyment of the children at play are all pleasantly depicted in brightly colored, simple watercolor, gouache, and ink illustrations that combine full-page images, spreads, and pages of sequential panels. There are nicely done details such as the elaborate dinner service placed on the table at the mansion and the spiral stairway at the lighthouse. This appealing rainy-day tale will stir the imagination of those who have ever looked for something to do on a gloomy day.—Carol Schene, formerly at Taunton Public Schools, MA
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The author of Museum Trip
(2006) returns to a wordless format to tell this story of a boy who finds that the house he lives in offers more than he imagines. The book opens to a picture of a boy looking out tall windows as rain spatters the panes. Bored and lonely, the child wanders the house and finds a key and a chest. Opening the chest, he discovers a ladder leading to a basement; then he goes through a door and up a staircase. This Alice in Wonderland-
like journey ends on a sunny island, where the boy meets some children to play with. The boy goes home after a thrilling day, but he finds a way to return to see his friends. Once again, Lehman provides purely colored, precisely rendered artwork that capably captures both adventures and emotions. Unfortunately, this rather straightforward story leaves little space for children to use their imaginations. It does, however, beautifully capture the deja vu feeling that comes when reality mingles with the longing of dreams. Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved