In, by Nikki McClure; Abrams Appleseed, $16.95, 32 pages, ages 2-6.

Master cut-paper artist Nikki McClure (May the Stars Drip Down; How to Be a Cat) has crafted another stunning story full of bold images that demonstrate the deft skill of a professional at her best. Here readers meet a young boy who decides that today is just too cold and wet to venture outdoors, but perfect to explore the simple pleasures of playing make-believe. McClure’s books are generally done in black and white with one major pop of color – here it’s yellow, highlighting a toy giraffe, a yellow flag, and even a jar of marmalade. Keep an eye open for owls – McClure filled In with 35 different kinds of the bird of prey. Then check the last page to see if you found them all.

This joyous celebration of downtime will speak to overscheduled youngsters (and their parents), reminding us that unsupervised moments are blissful manna for the soul. 

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