What’s it like to literally hang around?
Five-year-old Reggie knows. The tot is stranded in midair in the middle of Mom’s clothesline while single-handedly clutching a knot in the middle of the line. Yanking said knot while skipping downstairs from the apartment is a ritual: Reggie likes the knot’s sound when it’s snapped. Today, having slipped on the stairs, Reggie’s hand becomes entangled in the knot; struggling comically pushes Reggie into the clothesline’s center. Reggie’s other hand enfolds coins earned by doing chores. Reggie doesn’t want to drop the money, but the kid is also terrified of falling. Mom’s inside wearing large earphones, so yelling for her does no good. Eventually the coins and Reggie plummet to the pavement. Fortunately, Reggie sustains only dirty hands, with which the sniffling child quickly retrieves the coins and buys candy. By the following week, Reggie’s learned the lesson about that pesky knot. This quirky Canadian import, translated from French, has Reggie narrating in first person in a dryly witty, self-aware tone. However, when Reggie realizes the fall wasn’t so bad, the tension and fun end abruptly, and the story becomes a letdown. The child-appealing, expressive illustrations feature lots of white space, focusing attention on Reggie’s plight. Characters present white.
There’s some fun here, and readers will recognize that “hanging around” has taken on a new, unexpected meaning. (Picture book. 4-7)