SEA BEACH EXPRESS by George Panetta


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Like Italian cookies, this is a bit too heavy and too sweet but it has some good small nuts. Papa and Mama seem more like the Italian-American new immigrants of the post-WWI wave than would appear possible. At any rate, they're noisily emotional, warmly affectionate and simple salt-of-the spaghetti stereotypes. Mama's fat and suffers with the heat. Papa works an elevator at the U.N. all day and keeps putting off granting Mama's dearest wish--a swim off Coney Island. Nine year old Tony determines that she will have her outing and gets Papa moving by a skillful display of juvenile psychology. On their weekend trek to Coney, they shout their destination to inquiring neighbors and thus acquire little Puerto Rican Pedro, who attaches himself to them howling his desire to go. He's nearly wordless and his penchant is for getting lost. Pedro's mother made Papa sign a receipt for him and the best parts of the book are Pedro disappearing on the subway, in the water, on the beach. A picture of New York and New Yorkers at their best on sardinelike transportation, a battily attractive Pedro, a satisfying day for Mama.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1966
Publisher: Harper & Row