A family with severe short-term memory issues discovers a coping strategy at last in this mildly farcical outing.
Given their tendency to leave home sans trousers or umbrellas, to forget the grocery list—even, in the dog’s case, to forget where the bones are buried—the Frazzles invite Aunt Rosemary in to organize their lives. Unfortunately, even Rosemary’s blizzard of notes, schedules and strings on fingers fails to work. Her bathtub caterwauling, however, inspires young Annie Frazzle to turn to-do lists into jingles: “Apples, lettuce, bread, and beets, / Chicken, carrots, chocolate treats, / Milk and cheese and one thing more, / Don’t leave Grandpa at the store!” Problem solved. Gammell’s illustrations add a typical air of barely controlled chaos. Disheveled figures sporting confused expressions beneath mops of flyaway hair float through paint-splashed scenes of riotous domestic clutter.
Crisis management for sure, but resolutely low key and capped by the arrival of a luscious (if, Gammell-style, decrepit) birthday cake. (Picture book. 5-7)