Return of the Dapper Men by Jim McCann and Janet Lee Once upon a time there was a world where time stopped, and all that was left were children and machines. The machines lived above ground and the children below, with only one robot girl and one human boy daring to risk friendship across that divide. Then one day, a whole host of dapper men – very dapper men, in white pin-striped suits with green umbrellas – falls from the sky. Only one of them talks, and he only talks to Ayden and Zoe. At this point, I was expecting something along the lines of the Grey Gentlemen from Michael Ende’s Momo – quite decidedly evil. But this turns out not to be the case at all, and it is only like Momo, and The Little Prince in that inside of a story for children is a message probably best captured by adults on how to appreciate life. The story is beautifully told, but the artwork really shines. It’s done in an Art Nouveau style, but with the figures in watercolor and ink cut out and pasted on pre-treated boards. I bought this for the adult collection at the library, but I think now it would do just as well in the children’s section, though it probably has too much of the air of the innocence of childhood to appeal to teens. I could be wrong, though. That art might pull just about anyone in. Go look at it, and see if you don’t think so.
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