THE MOFFAT MUSEUM by Eleanor Estes
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The glad tidings are that Estes has lost none of her feel for childhood's small, chance ecstasies--and the Moffats, resuming where she left them in Rufus M. (1943) and Ginger Pye (1951), have lost none of their small-town 1919 appeal. Even the Moffat Museum, a risky gambit for re-introducing the series and its totems, proves out: Jane's first-chapter brainstorm, the barn-ful of Moffat ""artifacts"" also inspires Rufus (whose third-grade teacher is vacationing in London) to play ""Rufus, the Waxworks Boy,"" huddled in muffler and rug atop the ancient sled. Sylvie, tripping up the sidewalk the day before her wedding to Rev. Ray Abbot, and catching a few rose petals in her hair, inspires another Jane-and-Rufus production: a shower of rose petals, from the church's balcony, when the wedding party comes back down the aisle. (These rose petals, contributed by almost everyone on Ashbellows Place, and strewn by Rufus, little Uncle Bennie Pye, and the other Cranbury children, rate among the memorable Estes/Moffat ""artifacts."") Also: Jane takes a train trip--featuring an unrehearsed handcar chase--to visit Sylvie and Ray; Rufus and big-brother Joey--and wide-eyed Uncle Bennie--almost become the owners of a little trolley (and do put their mark on it); and, in another kind of departure, Joey turns 16 and goes to work--necessarily, it's suggested, but not (Jane carefully observes) tragically. A notable series goes on undiminished--for a third generation of child-readers.

Pub Date: Nov. 7th, 1983
ISBN: 0152025537
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich