I'M IN CHARGE! by Joan Drescher


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Drescher (The Marvelous Mess, 1980) doesn't quite manage to make the little boy ""in charge""--while his dad is upstairs ""with a terrible deadline"" and his mother's at work--anything but the kind of cutely comical tyke that grownups chortle over. And that's what ails the story too. It does put the unnamed narrator through the appropriate paces--when he's hungry, he fixes himself a sandwich; when a stranger comes to the door, he doesn't let him in--but it's never far from kiddie slapstick: when his overalls get sticky (from making that sandwich), he tosses his clothes in the washing machine; so we have him running around in his underwear. Or, when friend Marshall comes over ""with some friends,"" those friends turn out to be insects that hop madly all over the house. . . which leads to the spilling of paint. . . which the little boy cleans up with too much soap. . . which then becomes the ""emergency"" he can summon his father for. There's no real spontaneity, nor any real sense of how a child feels in such a situation; it's just sort of--cute.

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 1981
Publisher: Little, Brown