Yet another humorous, sometimes tear-spattered account of the joys and tribulations of first-time motherhood, this one by the author of How to Honeymoon (1986). New York writer Weston didn't think much about having babies until her husband threatened to abstain from sex unless she put away her diaphragm. Left with such a choice, Weston became pregnant almost instantly, and so was able to introduce her readers to all the wonders and horrors of a typical modern-urban gestation. Cravings for potatoes and fears of miscarriage led to worries over money and career stagnation after baby Elizabeth arrived, but this author weathered all with a cheery attitude and even resolved, during a respite in the journey, to repeat the whole process. Though Weston's affection for her daughter, her relish for the maternal role, and her unusually carefree life give this book a warm, positive tone, her anecdotes prove sufficiently run-of-the-mill (except for an interesting detour into New York's baby-modeling industry) to convince readers that happy families really must be all alike—and a bit humdrum. Okay, but not as appealing as Joan Leonard's Tales from Toddler Hell (reviewed above).

Pub Date: May 10, 1991

ISBN: 0-316-93163-2

Page Count: 280

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1991

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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