Desmond in The Wichita Eagle

"Disappearing Desmond," written and illustrated by Anna Alter (Knopf, ages 5-8, $17.99), is a charming look at shyness in children.

Desmond likes to disappear. Whether on the playground, in the classroom, or at the beach, he has always found a way to blend in as if he wasn't even around. Then Gloria joins his class. She loves to be noticed, and starts to notice Desmond, too. At first he is surprised, but discovers he likes being recognized.

Alter's story is warm and reassuring. Her characters don't judge each other, but find gentle ways to help each other grow. Young readers will love searching for the shy Desmond in the brightly colored acrylic illustrations and may notice other reluctant students as well.

Wallflowers and starlets alike will adore "Disappearing Desmond."

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