TAKE ME FOR A RIDE by Michel Gay


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Gay is the French author/illustrator of The Christmas Wolf (1983), which entitles him to attention--but this can only be called baby stuff (in the sentimental French mode, h‚las). What Gay is after is a fantasy for the stroller-age set in the vein of Marie Hall Ets' In the Forest and Play With Me. But it's literal--there's an actual tot in a stroller, clutching his bottle (and, on the endpapers, dozing). The likely, and likable, notion of butterfly and frog and duck, pussycat and fox and bear, begging a ride in the stroller (and cat drinking milk from the bottle, bear calling to go faster) gives way to tot Teddy's baby-like sleepiness. And when he awakens, crying, the animals return and give him a big push in his stroller. . . which tumbles him at his mother's side, for a consoling hug. Whether or not imaginery encounters with animals take place at stroller age, they bespeak an independent, questing spirit (perfectly symbolized, in the case of In the Forest, by the little boy's horn and paper hat) that is constantly flegated here--at the cost, also, of suspension-of-disbelief.

Pub Date: March 19th, 1985
Publisher: Morrow