EYES IN THE FISHBOWL

A boy who dreams of having a luxury department store at his disposal discovers that the dream is more real than the store; a boy who resents his father's fondness for lame ducks and casual living decides that rebellion is "a doorway and not a destination": one boy, two variously likely stories, a dubious connection. Alcott-Simpson's is fourteen-year-old Dion's separate world; when strange things begin happening—a pet shop lizard in the dressing room, a toy galleon in the goldfish pool, a young girl who appears and disappears wearing "borrowed" finery—his curiosity takes him to Madame Stregovitch, in Cosmetics, who warns him not to ask too many questions. Why is somehow related to the girl. Sara—she haunts the store with "the others" and soon, half-child and half-woman, haunts him. Then there's the apartment he shares with his father and the college boys from upstairs and the children from downstairs and Dad's music students—all of them owe Dad money, and meals are mostly communal spaghetti, and some day Dion will leave it all for a job at Alcott-Simpson's. Except that the store, deserted by its frightened staff, closes....Sara is Rima in Courregos boots and Madame Stregovitch is a benevolent Rasputin—it was she who, by her psychic powers, summoned Sara and the other spirits of starving children to share the largesse; but Alton's Simpson's is just right and so is the sparring between Dion and his Dad. Probably this will get across to girls more readily than to boys because they want to believe; underneath there is something to believe in.

Pub Date: March 20, 1968

ISBN: 0440400600

Page Count: 180

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1968

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE LORAX

The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

I AM NOT GOING TO GET UP TODAY!

After an eight-year interval, a Beginner Book by this well-loved originator of the series is welcome; and since Seuss hasn't chosen to illustrate it himself, we are lucky to have Stevenson as alternate. In the familiar Seuss pattern of a simple premise exaggerated to comic effect, a boy declares, "My bed is warm. My pillow's deep. Today's the day I'm going to sleep"—regardless of his mother, various arguments, successive waves of reinforcements, including the Marines, and a TV crew filming the momentous event. Actually, the development of the idea is a little tame compared with Seuss' other extravaganzas (and such determined all-day slumber is more the province of teen-agers and the good doctor's contemporaries than of readers at this level); but the book is delightfully enlivened by Stevenson's vigorous illustrations, which considerably augment the text by showing the full extent of the consternation caused by the hero's stubborness. Though there is plenty of the repetition required by learning readers, there are also some unusual words like Memphis, suggesting that this is not the easiest easy reader; but it has enough appeal to keep beginners entertained.

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 1987

ISBN: 0394892178

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1987

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more