Cities may grow large.
Summers may come and go.
And people might grow old,
but the one thing that always
remains the same is the desire for
adventure.Barbara Lehman takes readers on a timeless trip to a world of secret messages left in secret boxes hidden in secret places.
You’ll never know what you’ll find when you look inside!
As in her previous books, Lehman (The Red Book) develops the theme of children who stumble on unseen worlds. Here, three boys discover a box in the top floor of their urban boarding school that holds decades-old sepia photographs of a schoolboy, a postcard, and a map leading to a location on the coast. Picking out features of the old landscape amid the built-up, modern city around them, the boys make their way to a boardwalk amusement park, where they find the schoolboy of the photograph with a crowd of children who presumably have made the same trip. In closing, a pair of schoolchildren from an even more recent past find the box and set off for Seahorse Pier; Lehman implies that this cycle continues indefinitely, hall-of-mirrors style. Her tidily drafted watercolor-and-ink spreads make it easy to follow the action despite the mind-bending propositions it points toward; the idea that the children somehow cheat death is simultaneously eerie and liberating, as are the images of layers of earlier cities entwined with the present. A provocative example of the complexity that can be conveyed using only pictures. Ages 4 8.