THE HAPPY YELLOW CAR by Polly Horvath

THE HAPPY YELLOW CAR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The author of An Occasional Cow (1989) features country folk in another slapstick yarn. Betty, third of the Grunts' four children, seems to be the only one with college potential, but her hopes are dashed when her father, Gunther, blows the $80 her mother has amassed for her education on a flashy car intended only for Sunday drives. Meanwhile, the 12-year-old is elected Pork-Fry Queen on condition that she come up with a dollar for flowers. Gunther has a steady railroad job, but there's no spare cash for this Depression-era Missouri family. Still, Betty schemes to wangle the necessary buck, in the process discovering that her brother Grant has been spending their cousins' church-collection money on candy and that Great-aunt Hilda left a buried treasure. All of this results in shenanigans made more comical for sophisticated readers by Horvath's satirically flowery narrative. Unfortunately, its happy-go-lucky tone is undermined by rather mean caricatures of these mostly dim-witted yokels, especially Gunther (a boor whose typical utterances is ""Hrunk!"") and massive, sanctimonious Aunt Lolly. Still, those who enjoyed the wordplay and broad humor in the author's earlier efforts will be amused by Betty's struggles.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1994
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: FSG