A Nickel, a Trolley, a Treasure House

Viking Children’s Books  2007

A child of an immigrant family in the early days of the century who spends his time drawing is under-appreciated in this delightful picture book. Although his parents complain that there’s “not much use for it” Lionel persists in sketching and drawing on every possible scrap of paper and in every free moment he has. His ally is his oldest sister, Rose, who works in their mother’s dress shop. It is she who provides him with cardboard and string from the shop and encourages his efforts. The other person who encourages his art is his teacher, Miss Morrissey, who has plans for the two of them—plans which involved a trip on a trolley. After worrying about the trolley fare, Lionel finds himself at the Metropolitan Museum of Art! What a feast for a child such as he, and for the reader as well, for Peck’s illustrations are also art, painted loosely in wonderful muted colors evocative of the period. The book is marvelously designed as well. Enjoy. For ages 6–8.

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