JACK THE BUM AND THE HALLOWEEN HANDOUT by Janet Schulman

JACK THE BUM AND THE HALLOWEEN HANDOUT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Jack the bum, with his vain attempts to duplicate the children's begging success on Halloween, has the reliable appeal of the fool to whom beginning readers can feel superior. And they'll know he's not to be taken seriously when, after trickor-treating, they all assemble in a ""very big room with a shiny wooden floor and no furniture (and) a hoop hanging high on the wall"" at each end--""the funniest living room that I have ever seen."" The light dawns when the children turn in their UNICEF cartons and the principal thanks them for helping the poor children of the world; later, when Jack wins $5.00 for the best costume, he reveals his identity, turns over the money to UNICEF, and, in the bargain, gets more than the one cup of coffee he was begging to buy: as guest of honor he has all the coffee he can drink and a dozen cookies to boot. Like the school parties represented here, this turns the occasion into a benign little amusement, but Schulman neatly avoids the sort of falsification that destroyed Censoni's Shopping Bag Lady (p. 89, J-l9). And Stevenson's quick character sketches pin it down aptly.

Pub Date: March 28th, 1977
Publisher: Greenwillow/Morrow