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SOMEONE NEW by Charlotte Zolotow


by Charlotte Zolotow

Pub Date: March 1st, 1978
Publisher: Harper & Row

Zolotow tries to capture and distill a certain point in the growing-up process when a boy becomes discontented with last year's wallpaper choice, looks around at his toys and games and stuffed animals and decides to pack them away, and realizes that he's more interested now in books and shells. She does get across the feeling of strangeness that can accompany such a moment, but overdoes it in her artificial opening: "I have this feeling someone is gone and I don't know who. My mother is here. My father is here. My sister is here. Who is gone?" And if the whole process seems impatiently, unsubtly telescoped, if the ending ("Someone is missing and I know who. And I—I am someone new") seems too quick and pat for the occasion (though it's par for the genre), perhaps the problem is that the featured experience is just a few years beyond the grasp of a picture-book audience.