PANDA BEAR IS CRITICAL by Fern Michaels

PANDA BEAR IS CRITICAL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Panda Bear"" is the CB ""handle"" for five-year-old hemophiliac Davey Taylor--who's spending some time with his doting Aunt Lorrie (a doctor) and Uncle Tom (a lawyer) while his parents (cold mother, weak father) go to Florida for a mob/drugs/murder trial: Dad, a professor, is a witness because of womething he accidentally saw one day. So Davey and dog Duffy are having a swell time driving around New Jersey with Lorrie and Tom in their RV. . . until, wandering off alone in a camping area, Davey happens to see a psycho-hoodlum named Cudge burying a dead body--and next thing you know Davey is accidentally locked up in the back of Cudge's truck. Will Cudge's pathetic psycho-moil Elva help Davey to escape? Will demented Cudge (""Razor-tipped horns gored his sanity and attacked again and again"") catch little Davey when he runs off through the woods? Will Davey suffer from not getting his hemophilia shots? These are the sentimental-melodrama questions as Michaels (the pseudonym of a successful romance-paperback team) moves the action around from Davey's ordeal to Tom and Lorrie's anguish; from a sweet FBI man's search for Davey to--worst of all--Davey's cartoon-monster mother in Florida, who's no less demented than Cudge (and will wind up equally dead). And the finale takes place in a wildlife-amusement park, with sweet little Davey (who talks with relentless cutesiness to his dog) managing to feed Cudge to a lion. Clumsy exposition, hopeless dialogue, gross characterization--but the info on hemophilia (limply tacked in) may interest some, and Michaels' paperback following might be eager to try this crude/saccharine rehash of the little-boy-in-peril scenario.

Pub Date: June 24th, 1982
Publisher: Macmillan