Two young brothers, presented with sleeping bags by their grandfather, get permission to sleep outside on the...

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THE NIGHT WE SLEPT OUTSIDE

Two young brothers, presented with sleeping bags by their grandfather, get permission to sleep outside on the house-deck--and face predictable scares (a raccoon in the garbage pail, a cat with a dead mouse, a hooting owl) in a more-or-less lifelike fashion. There is, in short, little spark--from the Rockwell's typical-tyke pictures to the mostly blah text. And it's always unfortunate, in a first-person story, not to know who's who: by the usual indication, the one who first has his mouth open, you'd think--until half-way through--that the speaker, whose name we never do learn (another miscalculation) is the younger brother. Then, significantly, we learn otherwise: ""I didn't want to tell Robert because I am older than he is."" And the nicest interchange comes when small Robert, awakened by the owl's hoot, doesn't panic: ""You told me not to be scared. And besides. . . I have never seen a real owl before, only in a book."" (Robert, it seems, dotes on birds-""even scary ones."") A heavy rainstorm then gives the two an excuse to run into the house without losing their pride. Unexceptionable--but also pretty unimaginative.

Pub Date: April 25, 1983

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1983