SONIA BEGONIA by Joanne Rocklin

SONIA BEGONIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A lively, humorous story about an aspiring young businessperson who discovers that her real vocation is not business but people. Sonia Begley, 11, feels left out of the successful family business, Begonia Ladies' Lingerie, Inc. Fearful she hasn't inherited the ""Begley business gene,"" Sonia (as ""Sonia Begonia"") starts Sonia's Safety Sentinel Service after several houses in the neighborhood are burglarized. She receives an assist from a lonely new kid on the block, Jason, whom she initially views as a ""negative know-it-all"" but grows to like. Obsessed with her business, she reluctantly finds time to babysit for obstreperous 5-year-old Snooky; Sonia handles her with imagination and wisdom, and Snooky adores her. She also finds the antidote to depression suffered by her good friend, Mrs. Fineberg, an Auntie Mame-type elderly widow and chicken soup aficionado. Sonia's business comes to a resounding halt after she, Jason, and Mrs. Fineberg catch the burglar in the act but discover he's the boyfriend of Bettina, daughter of the Begleys' talkative cleaning lady. As housesitter, Sonia feels responsible for the housebreaking and is convinced she's a failure. But her parents and Mrs. Fineberg assure her that mistakes are part of the game, and that she's a huge success with people, no small talent. Readers will enjoy the likable characters and zany situations, and understand that the ability to make people feel good is a valuable talent. Attractive full-page pencil drawings enhance this well-written, pleasant outing.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1986
Page count: 107pp
Publisher: Four Winds/Macmillan