COME ON, PATSY by Zilpha Keatley Snyder


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Elementary irony is the keynote of this very brief rhyming monologue in the seemingly upbeat, brisk and friendly words of a little girl inviting another, named Patsy, to play. Sounding at first like a simpy Dick-and-Jane contrivance--"Hi, Patsy. Do you want to play?/ Want to go to the park?/ I know a new way"--the words are soon revealed as those of a headlong, insensitive bully who drags poor weeping Patsy through all kinds of hazards with only impatient reprimands ("I told you to hurry. . . . You should have jumped higher. . . . Why didn't you say you don't like to go high") as Patsy falls and scrapes her knee, has her clothes bitten by a bulldog, gets sick from the merry-go-round, and so on. Zemach makes the speaker's obliviousness amusingly obvious and Patsy's distress comically pathetic, though she never goes beyond the requirements of the single-minded, far from catchy text. This is incidental Zemach and incidental Snyder--but it's a sufficiently novel diversion, with the added educational value of a guided reading between the lines.
Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1982
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1982


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