MENJ! by Nicki Weiss


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In established children's picture-book tradition, Weiss puts cute lines from the kids in the mouths of lumpy, google-eyed green frogs. In the first of these four mere shades of tales, Francine Treefrog's sister Norma wakes up saying MENJ one morning and teases her with the meaningless word all day. So much for MENJ. Next day Francine goes ""collecting"" with friend-next-door Henry. Oddly, neither mother wants the bundles of grass, weeds, ants, and so on that they collect; but Henry's great-grandpa, snoozing on the porch, responds with ""For me? Why thank you!"" Next Francine and Norma help their mother make chocolate chip cookies, but Francine picks all the chips out of her batch before they're baked. Her last line, after sampling the finished cookies: ""I like chocolate chip cookies best when there are chocolate chips in them."" Finally, to Norma's scorn, Francine has a content-less bedtime chat with an imaginary friend on an invisible telephone. Weiss' roughly cross-hatched pictures add a spot of humor, but the stories need a little more wit, plot, or emotional charge to score in the ""home truth"" category.

Pub Date: March 9th, 1981
Publisher: Greenwillow