WHO'S WHOSE? by Jan Ormerod


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Readers who may be attempting to grasp the point to this initially puzzling book will find guidance on the jacket flap: ""Mix together 4 parents/1 grandmother/2 guinea pigs/1 dog/8 kids."" The endpapers show the evidence of a chaotic household: pages from datebooks, lists, and appointment cards. The title page gives one more clue; snapshots of three disparate families--one of whom is black--that, henceforth, are jumbled together on the following pages. The kids from the families mix together in home, school, and play; they watch television, dress up, entertain one another, and sleep and nap together in constantly changing combinations while the text asks, ""Who grates the cheese? Who sets the table? Who has homework?"" The characters are not strong enough as individuals to support any kind of story; instead, the book demonstrates how the idea of family has changed, and that, within this book, the clan is exuberant, enjoyable, refreshing, and loving to behold. Ormerod employs a light touch in her excellent, sketchy illustrations.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1998
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Lothrop