An engrossing collaboration, this is a photoessay introduction to the experiences of a child-actor named Philip, age 8. With a sort of ``day-in-the-life'' immediacy, the Hewetts follow Philip and his family as he pursues a busy schedule of acting classes, auditions, visits to his agent, working with a children's repertory theater, a job on a commercial and, of course, school. The highlight of the book is Philip's audition for and securing the young lead in the TV production of Beverly Cleary's The Mouse and the Motorcycle. The black-and-white photos and text are informative, and the narrative is smooth, lively and suspenseful. Similar in tone to Jill Krementz's A Very Young . . . books, this one shows that hard work and determination are constants in an actor's lifeeven for a child. Ages 7-10. (October)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6 In the tradition of Jill Krementz (A Very Young Skater Knopf, 1979, etc.), Hewett photographs a child during a critical time in his life. Unlike Krementz' books, however, the prose is graceless and the photography, mundane. This does not necessarily mean that the book won't be popular. The subject, a charming eight-year-old boy whose day is packed with auditions for commercials and TV spots, should find a sympathetic readership among kids in elementary school who watch televisionespecially since he is auditioning for the part of Keith in The Mouse and the Motorcycle . The book is chock full of details about the dull routines and the excitement of getting a part. Readers will learn about children's acting classes and young theater groups, auditions, unions, composites, ``call-backs,'' sound stages, etc. There is an interesting explanation of the technique of shooting a commercial and integrating interior and exterior shots. Because there is no index, it may be awkward for use in research projects, but it should be enjoyable for a nonfiction book report. Sally T. Margolis, The Newport Schools, Kensington, Md.