THE BEST PRESENT IS ME by Janet Wolf

THE BEST PRESENT IS ME

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Like Her Book, Wolf's 1982 debut, this is a strained, self-conscious effort--with an abysmal, give-away title, a lot of illustrational devices that aren't integral or original, and too much tricky, stagy business altogether for the penny-plain situation: a little girl makes a picture of herself for her grandmother's birthday (and briefly misplaces it). But Wolf's odds and ends might, still, catch a child's fancy--starting, on the title page, with the tiny, labeled drawings of objects (Grandpa's Pipe, Living Room Chair) and patterns (Hall Staircase, Bathroom Floor) that turn up in the course of the narrator's visit to ""Oma."" And when her family reaches New York City, the sidewalks are populated by recognizable city sorts. When the whole family sits down to dinner, a tiny keyed drawing tells who's who. It may be a jumble, but it's not dull. The windup, on the other hand, is too pat: the little girl can't find her drawing, Oma consoles her (""You know the best present is right here""), the elevator man brings it in. All in all, it's possible to imagine some children relishing the motley cartoons, and the experience of a visit to city grandparents, and not caring too much what goes on.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1984
Publisher: Harper & Row