TOAD FOOD AND MEASLE SOUP by Christine McDonnell


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Perhaps in emulation of Carolyn Haywood's long-running Betsy and Eddie, McDonnell has followed up her six episodes about Ivy and her first-grade classmate Loud Leo (Don't Be Mad, Ivy) with rive episodes about Leo--now a year older and determined to quietly ""blend in."" Exactly why, we don't know, as psychologically convincing behavior is not one of the book's strengths: In the one internalized episode, Leo worries that he has ""too much imagination"" and his father enthuses, ""Imagination is a talent! Daydreaming is an art! You just need to figure out when not to de it."" Other episodes, artificial to begin with, involve: Leo's mother's passing fancy for vegetarian food (whence file titular ""toad food and measles soup,"" from tofu and miso); a chameleon that, disappointingly, can only turn green or brown, for camouflage (so Leo swaps it for a patchwork guinea pig); a lest dalmatian pup reclaimed, after a week, by its owner (whose rive-dollar thank-you payment Leo will use to buy a non-pedigreed pup of his own). The one natural, unforced sequence has Leo solve the problem of presenting a costume book report (without dressing up in some outlandish garb) by playing Homer Price--and giving out doughnuts to the delighted class. Otherwise: stagey and feeble.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1982
Publisher: Dial