ME AND MY SISTER CLARA; ME AND CLARA AND CASIMIR THE CAT by Dimiter Inkiow

ME AND MY SISTER CLARA; ME AND CLARA AND CASIMIR THE CAT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Small-fry narratives like this pair from Germany have never had the acceptance here that they have in Europe; and these two are unlikely to make headway with children of reading age either, though some of the episodes--especially in the slyer, less buffoonish first--might have done nicely in an easy-reader format. Me and My Sister Clara also has the attraction of laconic Uncle Tony, bearded student and dispenser of quarters (whom the children recompense in kind when his funds run out); Uncle Tony's new wife, who suddenly balloons--""Poor Uncle Tony!""--into the ""fattest woman on the whole street""; and their baby, occasion for a chortling turnabout (""How We Told Aunt Flora the Facts of Life""). But the unnamed narrator and slightly older, all-wise Clara have some hilarious settos of their own--as when she, paid in advance, insists on cutting all his hair or, so he can keep pace with her, tries valiantly to extract one of his baby teeth. Best of all, though, is their decision to divide up new dachshund Snuffy--the front half for her, the back half for him. ""From now on,"" says practical, imperturbable Clara, ""I will feed him, and you will take him out when he has to go, because that's your half."" (And he, not the least nonplussed, readily concurs.) Me and Clara and Casimir the Cat is more hectic and more mundane, involving run-ins with goldfish (swallowed, naturally, by cat Casimir), fleas (candidates for a flea circus), Uncle Tony's ""red baby"" (treated to Mama's best face cream), and a broken teapot (which, naturally, doesn't stay glued together). Finally, Clara, trying to wangle a single red boot from each of her grandmothers for Christmas, winds up with three whole pairs. But that's not a patch on her longing for a letter in the first book--why, otherwise, did she bother learning to read! Mild, uneven entertainment, then, for those of Clara's peers who'd appreciate ten little chapters in each instance instead of the usual three or four.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1979
ISBN: 394-84123-9
Publisher: Pantheon