SO WHAT IF I'M A SORE LOSER? by Barbara Williams


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Blake, the underdog, begins this with a point-by-point comparison between his apartment building and that of his cousin Maurice who lives across town: for example, there's a doorman with gold-braided uniform at Maurice's building, a super in dirty T-shirt at Blake's; an Olympic-sized pool in the basement at Maurice's, Olympic-sized cockroaches at Blake's. Next comes an inventory of their leisure-time possessions--Maurice has an aquarium, boxing gloves, a drum set; Blake has jigsaw puzzles--and Maurice always outshines Blake when they swim or box or play at their monthly get-together's at Maurice's. Maurice is revealed in these examples as an obnoxious winner (""Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy! I beat you again""), Blake a grudging loser (""You only won because you practice every day""). The turnabout comes when Maurice's apartment is being painted and so the monthly visit occurs at Blake's, where he outshines Maurice in a puzzle race and Maurice realizes at last: ""If there's anything in the world that's worse than a sore loser, it's a sore winner."" To counter the story's predictably mechanical outline and essence, Williams' tone has a mild bite and Edwards' pencil drawings give a wry, amusing flavor to the contrasts and the boys' interaction.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1981
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich