HOW LAZY CAN YOU GET? by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


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Stylized hysteria of the aren't-kids-comical sort--which kids seem to divide on as firmly as adults. The Megglethorp offspring aren't mean or disobedient, just "difficult" (or, from a child's point of view, perfectly reasonable): Timothy, the oldest, is "impatient with grownups who" don't say what they mean; Amy, in the middle, likes to be left alone; and Douglas John doesn't want to grow up--adults are just too unimaginative. So they have foisted upon them for a week (while their parents are away) the well-recommended but ill-suited Miss Hildegarde Brasscoat--who asks meaningless questions, hates idleness, and has no imagination. Not even the kids' harmless capers in response to her "How lazy can you get?" (or "How dumb. . ." or "How messy. . .") can get a rise out of hidebound Miss B. But when Tim's pet crab gets loose, turns up in the chipped beef, and slithers around the table, she cracks up and--"How silly can I get?"--does a madcap parrot imitation. With that, the awful week ends in mutual adoration. There's not an inert, uninflected moment--but only Naylor's bravura style separates most of this from sitcom TV.
Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1979
ISBN: 0440406080
Page count: 66pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1979


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