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PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH by Judith Gorog

PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH

By Judith Gorog

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-590-46682-8
Publisher: Scholastic

 A strong premise and a dozen fine stories don't quite achieve the sum of their parts. The concept--the reader enters a picture gallery as onlooker, character, or fly on the wall--is intriguing, as are the stories relating to the paintings: a costume made from a magician's sheets takes possession of its wearer; a shy disc- jockey's thoughts are read by his listeners; an unappreciated boy is kidnapped by a shaft of moonlight and deposited in the home of a lonely child. In perhaps the best tale, a Native American boy must choose between his brothers and a sister who married a bear. The settings range through various historical epochs and other realms (mythic, supernatural); the tone is accessible yet sophisticated--Gorog raises such literary questions as the transgressive nature of looking at (or touching) other lives. It's the framing device that's underdeveloped; while the paintings are absorbing, the ``Gallery Pitu'' and its mysterious artist are only sketched. Still, these eerie tales will fascinate young readers. (Short stories. 10+)