TILLIE AND MERT by Ida Luttrell


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A less successful version of the ""best friends"" stories made popular by Arnold Lobel's engaging Frog and Toad series. Tillie Skunk and Mert Fieldmouse, like Frog and Toad, do everything together. What they do together, however, puts one in mind of Lucy and Ethel on I Love Lucy. In the first of three stories, Tillie dizzily buys ""bargains"" at a garage sale, items that prove worthless. After a moment of feeling superior, Mert is melted by Tillie's humble admission of her own weakness. During the second tale, Tillie's fortune-telling business goes to her head. And, in the final escapade, the friends start a grocery store, where they cause infinite mix-ups until they recognize each other's talents and switch jobs. The balance between flighty Tillie and sensible Mert gives each story its movement, and the affection between the friends provides the resolution. But Tillie and Mert appear merely as ""dizzy women,"" and although the illustrations are humorous and lively, they depict costumes--hats, pearls, handbags--that reinforce the stereotypes.

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 1985
Publisher: Harper & Row