School Library JournalGr 2-4 Two light-hearted adventure tales designed to fill the gap between easy readers and full-length juvenile novels. With a clear large type face and several three- to four-page chapters, they develop a single-strand plot with not more than six or eight characters. Yet they are suspenseful, humorous, and engaging. The Daring Rescue of Marlon the Swimming Pig tells of two boys who hide the town's diving pig when they discover that he is to become ``a hundred packages of bacon.'' Their misadventures during his rescue, as the pig upsets garbage pails and consumes gardens; the boys' ingenious scavenging to meet his burgeoning appetite; and Marlon's rescue of a drowning toddler from a rain-swollen creek all contribute to the rollicking good spirit of the story. Marlon and his companions are made even more likable by Owens' whimsical black-and-white sketches. Now and then the choice of vocabulary seems too advanced for the intended audience percolated, disdainfully, serene but mostly the style is well suited to novice readers. In The Curse of the Squirrel, Howie the hunting dog gets a taste of being on the other end of the chase when a bite on the neck from Shag, a giant rodent, turns him into a were-squirrel. The tale is fast-paced and slapstick, with yet another crew of thoroughly enjoyable characters. It should be a good precursor to the ``Bunnicula'' series (Atheneum) and others in which humor is derived from the mild-mannered becoming blood-thirsty. In keeping with the nocturnal setting of most of the action, Zimmer has illustrated the story with high contrast black-and-white pen-and-ink drawings and striking silhouettes. With their attractive covers and formats and catchy titles, both books are sure to be favorites among primary grade readers ready to move up from the easies. Joanne Aswell, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, N.J.
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