THE WOODEN PEOPLE by Myra Paperny

THE WOODEN PEOPLE

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Wooden writing too, with heroine Lisa ""remarking"" and ""replying"" among ""eager"" children and ""industrious"" ""young people."" Admittedly the story, about a Jewish immigrant family traipsing about Western Canada in the Twenties, does come across as true to its setting, and the situation is psychologically plausible: Brother Teddy, resentful that Papa keeps moving the family away from their friends, decides to shun the other children near their new home (above Papa's purple store in an Alberta hamlet) and turns to a set of homemade marionettes for companions. But then the plot is as trite as the dialogue, with the four Stein children preparing and practicing their puppet shows secretly (as Papa rails against ""the theatre,"" which ruined his young sister); Lisa getting backstage advice and a real marionette from an Edmonton matinee actor; the young puppeteers performing at a school amateur night to the town's applause but Papa's rage; and finally in a melodramatic turnabout Papa risking his life to rescue the marionettes from a fire. Combined with the stiff narration, this makes it hard to forget that someone is pulling the strings.

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 1976
Publisher: Little, Brown