CriticasIn this New York Times best seller, first-time authors McLaughlin and Kraus give us a satirical backstage view-sometimes whiny but mostly funny-of a wealthy Manhattan family as seen through the critical eyes of its nanny (an occupation both authors once held). Readers will quickly develop affection for the protagonist, Nan, although she is no Mary Poppins, and her four-year-old ward, Grayer. Nan's pet peeve is how cold and unloving Grayer's parents are, and readers who have ever babysat will relate to some of her humorous predicaments. But however funny, this account could also stir some controversy, as it can be taken as a wake-up call for such families or, more damningly, as an unduly harsh critique, with some stereotyping and a tinge of resentment. Nevertheless, one can't help laughing in recognition, even when the authors carry situations to almost cartoonish extremes, for they still bear a resemblance to reality. The translation, by Ber stegui, a well-known Spanish TV commentator, designer, and theater director, is fluid and vivid, especially in the dialogs. Like all books translated in Spain, there are a few words that will be unfamiliar to some-vater ("toilet"), balda ("shelf"), and salacot ("straw hat"), for instance-but they are kept to a minimum. This excellent translation is generally recommended as light reading for all libraries, bookstores, and book clubs.
Dolores M. Koch, New York City Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.