JENNIE JENKINS by Mark Taylor

JENNIE JENKINS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Oh, will you wear white, Oh, my dear, Oh, my dear? Oh, will you wear white, Jennie Jenkins? . . ."" Mark Taylor takes off from this folksong--in which Jennie Jenkins refuses, stanza by stanza, to wear white, red, black, green, purple and blue--with the story of a sassy young mountain gift and her reluctant appearance at her first--and last--dance. What with Jennie roaring around on her ornery horse Contraption and tripping up her more conventional older sisters' sweethearts, Taylor does get a lot of mileage out of some scanty lyrics, and Glen Rounds is of course just the man to sketch a settlement called Nettle Bottom and its population of hill people, critters and ""one varmint"" (Contraption). But to us all the tarnation and hollerin' is just a shade mechanical, and when the heroine's climactic surprise turns out to be nothing but an outlandish costume, a wild (prize winning) jig and a fast exit, Jennie with all her liberated spunk turns out to be a poor relation to Caudill's truly mountain-born Contrary Jenkins (1969).

Pub Date: March 1st, 1975
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Little, Brown