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by Leslie Tryon & illustrated by Leslie Tryon

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-689-31865-0
Publisher: Atheneum

 Albert (Albert's Field Trip, 1993, etc.), the witless fowl, is out in the garden readying for the harvest. Along comes a rather bullying note from Patsy Pig, urging Albert to build a harvest table for the next day's Thanksgiving feast. Albert complies--he wouldn't think of rocking the boat. He dutifully submits to all the ensuing demands: for decorations, to police the picnic grounds for litter, for emptying the corn crib, for baking pumpkin pizza pies. He does so without joy, without rancor, without any discernable emotion. Albert's not so much a team player, he's just a chump; not a duck but a dweeb. This is pitiful stuff: a pandering text (``Albert helped the children plant the garden. They cared for it together and watched it grow'') set to uninspired watercolors. The last, creepily moralizing page, in which all come to help Albert (he had laid a little guilt--not too much, mind you, just a bit--at Patsy Pig's doorstep), is a dismal failure. Who are these opportunists and who cares? Nothing can save this story, nothing should. (Fiction/Picture book. 5-8)