Kirkus Star


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Sam Kellow has the anxiousness of a child whose parents live large and on the edge. When they arrive in Toronto to sell one of his mother's renowned paintings, they have little money but choose an expensive hotel. Sam just knows something is going to go wrong, and sure enough, the mysterious art collector who had reserved the painting has disappeared. Sam knows the only way out of their trouble is if he can get the Big Bazoohley, life's jackpot, that his father is always talking about. When he is kidnapped by greedy parents who want him to substitute for their son (sick with chicken pox) in the Perfecto Kiddo contest, he thinks he may have found the Big Bazoohley at last. By turns predictable (is the contest ever really in doubt?) and magical, this engaging little gem exhibits a delicately unfettered imagination that revels in small slices of enchantment among the everyday. Whether describing the art collector's entrance or the miniature worlds in the paintings of Sam's mother, Carey (The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith, 1995, etc.) writes his first children's book in the manner of Mark Helprin, mining wonder in surprising places.
Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-8050-3855-8
Page count: 115pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1995