Peter Sís is an artist whose work can capture the imagination for hours. Madlenka is a picture book for children, but the exquisite drawings (cross-hatch illustrations with a pale blue wash) will fascinate readers of all ages. Sís zooms into the earth, then a continent, then a city, then Madlenka’s block on the Lower East Side. Her tooth is loose and her journey around the block to spread the news takes her around the world, as Madlenka shares her moment with immigrant merchants. Madlenka’s world is the world in miniature and Sís takes us along on a joyful ride.
Hardcover, 48 pages. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000. $11.56 at Amazon.