HA, HA, HA HENRIETTA by Barbara Klimowicz


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Barbara Ann's problem--her jealousy of older sister Henrietta, who can do all sorts of things that Barbara Ann isn't up to yet--is mainly a flimsy framework for the author's memories of the domestic gadgets that seem to have preoccupied her whole family back around 1930. First there's Mama's new electric Maytag with the wringer that only Henrietta is allowed to ""feed""; here too are the player piano (Barbara can't reach the pedals), the ice box (the pick is kept out of her reach), the curling iron Mama uses on Henrietta's hair (but claims that Barbara Ann can't sit still long enough for) and the ice cream maker that Henrietta helps turn. The only thing that Barbara Ann can do that her sister can't is stand up in the back seat of the Reo; when she finds, by bumping her head, that she's become too tall for that, her dismay is short-lived, for Mama, Papa, and Henrietta all take the incident as a cue to start treating her like a grown-up. It's an improbable solution to a problem that is endlessly reiterated rather than developed, and Burns' staged, smiling mother and sister at their chores look like the dreary black and white soap flake ads in the back page margins of the magazines of the period.

Pub Date: Aug. 11th, 1975
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Abingdon