- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Children's LiteratureThis reissue of Keats's 1975 title shows why Keats remains the master of capturing the simplest emotions of childhood in a beautifully recreated inner-city setting. As Susie and Roberto put on a puppet show for the neighborhood kids, Louie, who never speaks, is so fascinated by one of the puppets, a green-faced, red-nosed, clown like puppet in baby clothes, with stubby arms held up to be held, that he disrupts the show by standing up and shouting out to Gussie, "Hello! Hello!" At the end of the show, Louie grabs Gussie for a hug and is persuaded only with difficulty to let go. Finally he heads home, through dark, graffiti-covered streets, to his lonely, bare apartment, where he sits all alone on the uncarpeted floor, dreaming of Gussie and of being mocked by the others for his behavior at the performance. But then he finds that someone—presumably compassionate Susie and Roberto—has left him Gussie as a wonderful present. The spare and simple text allows Keats's luminous and expressive paintings to dominate the telling of the story. Louie's wordless joy as he rushes toward Gussie, with his arms outstretched to the waiting puppet, is heartbreakingly poignant and moving. It is hard not to have a lingering lump in the throat after this one. 2004 (orig. 1975), Puffin, Ages 3 up.