IN SMALL DOSES by Phyllis Naylor


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Another cottage philosopher with a cheery outlook on things close to home--like offspring Susan, Jack, and Peter. Free of the anguish of Crazy Love (1977), Phyllis Naylor sounds as regular as her children's names, even when she's coming up with something different. A family scared off by the idea of a new recipe needs practice in facing surprises, she decides, so each member should try out a new project on the others--regularly, once a week. Not every mother would give a son a frog-hatching kit, though, and she and Ralph seem to be pretty neat parents all around. ""Preserving the squeals"" of a child's wonder counts more, for instance, than observing the protocols of time and place. And when Jack, ten, proposes a Spoil-your-kid-Day on which he can do as he pleases, the answer is yes--with the happy conclusion, ""Give them a mile sometimes, and they'll settle for an inch."" Sticking to the small doses of the title, Naylor serves only a tamely spiked punch: at the limit of her humor she pronounces herself indispensable because ""Who else knows. . . that the nutmeg is in the bottle marked paprika?"" Slight, but companionable.

Pub Date: June 11th, 1979
Publisher: Atheneum