Nothing much has to happen to intent Hannah of The Whistling Teakettle (1977) and Carnival and Kopek (1979) to keep her...



Nothing much has to happen to intent Hannah of The Whistling Teakettle (1977) and Carnival and Kopek (1979) to keep her happily occupied, and the reader with her; but in this latest installment a promising something has happened--Hannah's impulsive father has persuaded her prudent mother to buy a little roadside restaurant in the next town along the Hudson. Hannah's father is sure he can devise a way from the hillside cellar into the house (he does--a trap door); Hannah's mother is determined to plant a garden, however steep the slope (when Hannah hears the story of ""Mollie's tree,"" she'll understand why); Hannah herself is ecstatic--the owner not only threw in a player piano, there's a rolltop desk and a soda-box besides. (For those not around in 1932, a soda-box is. a kind of cooler--you put the bottles in warm on one side and they come out cold on the other.) Plus a pair of French doors that don't go anywhere (until Hannah's father builds a porch) and railroad tracks just below the house--so Hannah can listen for the train at night and imagine herself ""Home-safe !"" before she goes to sleep. But in addition to the unaccustomed everyday delights that Hannah savors (along with opportunities to play waitress), there are real crises: Halloween, when ""stinkers"" Otto and Frankie go home, and best-friend Aggie gets a bellyache, and Hannah forces herself to go up the mountain to the waiting old couple's house alone (""It was a promise""); and, more horrible and wonderful still, the day Miss Pepper goes out of the classroom, leaving Hannah--finally--to preside as monitor. . . and the kids make a ruckus yelling ""Hannah is a palindrome"" (which Miss P. has written on the blackboard) until Hannah looks up the word and writes ""Otto is a palindrome"" too. Natural, rich, and very warming--in sharp contrast to the run of empty, over-plotted books.

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 1981


Page Count: -

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1981