TELL ME A TRUDY by Lore Segal


Email this review


Three more tales in the Tell Me a Mitzi vein--with a change of illustrator and a (corresponding?) change in the story-girl's name. Here, then, are Trudy, mother, father, and baby brother Jacob--and, in the first, Grandma, who plays along with the copycatting children and cagily leads them--shoes off, lie down, lights out--to bed. A Joke on Trudy and Jacob, of course, but one that other children can appreciate. The next, however, will be most enjoyed by grownups or kids capable of seeing through them. Trudy's father has a sister, Aunt Shirley, who has a little boy, Leonard, who has a red dump truck that, naturally, Jacob wants--but when Leonard is ready to swap his dump truck for Jacob's pail, Aunt Shirley bridles: ""You know what that dump truck cost me?"" she cries, trying to seize it from her brother. And Trudy says: ""Come on, Daddy, no fighting. You give Aunt Shirley back her dump truck and I'll buy everyone a pretzel."" The last is Daddy's story (for a change) of Superman's visit to rout the robbers lurking in the bathroom--or so Trudy has written him. And, after watching TV with the family until dark, he throws four Martians out the window--or so he says--and looking not a little like the Night Kitchen's Mickey, flies out himself: a nice open end. Still, none of these is as inspired a conception as the first Mitzi story, nor is any one as richly developed or resoundingly told. These, indeed, read like picture-book texts (little narrative, mostly dialogue) rather than stories-told-by anyone. The pictures, too, lack ambience and therefore atmosphere and detail; instead we have characters--comic characters set down comic-strip-like in a near-vacuum. The Segal sense of family-humor is in evidence, but not a great deal else.

Pub Date: Nov. 28th, 1977
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux