A family of list aficionados gets an unexpected guest in this offbeat tale.
The Liszts spend their time making lists. Regardless of the season, the family writes lists “every day except Sundays, which were listless." Each member, of course, specializes in a particular topic. For example, Mama ponders lists of "ghastly illnesses" and soccer greats, while Papa comes up with lists of "dreaded chores and small winged insects." Meanwhile, Grandpa weighs in on his great admirers and fearsome enemies. Even the cat joins in. When a visitor arrives one day, no one’s keen on paying the visitor any attention. After all, he’s not on anybody’s list. So it goes until the visitor sees the middle Liszt child, who holds a list of questions. "He had a good feeling about this one." Reminiscent of the best nonsense children’s books, Maclear’s wry tale oozes pure whimsy. The text revels in offbeat sincerity, wringing chuckles out of juxtapositions and amusing dialogue. Happily, Sardà’s digital illustrations capture the Liszts’ quaint strangeness. Drab, muted colors prevail throughout most of the artwork, lending a sense of Gothic order to the Liszts’ chaotic household. Intertextual visual details pop up occasionally, while most pictures feature unusual perspectives to frame the family. In the end, the visitor’s visit shakes up the Liszt household in all the best ways.
Simply enchanting in all its quirks. (Picture book. 5-9)