BETHANY FOR REAL by Anna Grossmickle Hines


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Further child imaginings--this time, in the let's-pretend direction--by the author/illustrator of Taste the Raindrops (1983). The opening is inspired: ""Bethany pulled her wagon down the street. Cloppety-clop, cloppety-clop went her feet. She neighed loudly."" Bethany finds Laura's lemonade stand empty, and out of lemonade; she pours herself a cup of pretend lemonade and, when a new little boy appears with a big box, pretends she's Laura. Offered some lemonade, the little boy is only momentarily nonplused, and then pretends to drink it. In his box, he tells her, are pretend kittens. This is the touch of magic, the entree to double-improvisation: Bethany can't have a cat because she's allergic, ""but I could have one of THESE kittens""; he trades her one for two cups of lemonade. And when the real Laura returns and discovers she's the real owner of the kittens (because, after all, it was her pretend lemonade), you can imagine the comic mix-up. . . that ends with Laura, a big girl and therefore a scoffer, absorbed in the kittens too. The gently drawn and colored children appear on pages bordered in shades of salmon, gray-green, and other soft house-paint pastels: a pastel rainbow to frame a beguiling, affecting bit of pretense.

Pub Date: March 18th, 1985
Publisher: Greenwillow