I'LL BET YOU THOUGHT I WAS LOST by Shirley Parenteau


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If it didn't go on and on and on, if it didn't shift desperately into silliness once all the obvious variations on the theme were exhausted, Sandy's first-person account of getting lost in the supermarket wouldn't be too bad. (It wouldn't be great either, just okay.) He goes with his dad, to ""get some stuff for salad,"" and almost immediately finds himself alone. A search ensues, with every new hope dashed (a man buying vegetables turns out to be dressed like Dad, a cart containing bananas and sliced ham ""like my dad always buys"" turns out to also contain a baby, etc.); and he gets more and more panicky: ""Finally I leaned against a glass case, trying not to cry. Trays of green olives looked back. They had red centers like eyes. All staring at me. I pulled my shoulders back so they wouldn't see I was afraid."" (On the next page he's swallowing hard, ""so the olives wouldn't see me cry."") How he finds his dad is the nadir, though--a man is ""choosing dark glasses from a rack,"" and mightn't he be a detective, who could help? The point is supposed to be Sandy's aplomb (""I bet you thought I was lost"") when he sees who the man is. But even kids who go along with all this might wonder, if not why his dad didn't give a thought to him, why in his search up and down the aisles he hadn't run across his dad before. (And a savvier, more child-sensitive book might have given us some reassuring glimpses of Sandy's father to offset his mounting panic and turn the also-anxious audience into a cheering squad.)

Pub Date: Aug. 11th, 1981
Publisher: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard