A familiar story line yields its share of amusement in this competent if unexceptional picture book. Elliot Fry can cope with most of life's little anxieties--his mother's complaints about mud tracks across the kitchen floor, his father's aversion to the harmonica, his sister's tattling. But when his mother announces Uncle Abe's impending visit, Elliot draws the line at rooming with him: ``It's not fair! I'M LEAVING!'' His parents, however, are two steps ahead, and Elliot's intended drama fizzles when they offer a suitcase and suggest snacks and appropriate runaway attire. After three trips around the block, Elliot returns, to be greeted with a burst of attention. Brimner maintains a steady tone throughout, while Fernandes contributes spirited, busy illustrations. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)
Elliot's having a bad day. His mom scolds him for tracking mud on her kitchen floor. His dad says he makes too much noise. His sister tattles on him. But the final straw is when his mom tells him Uncle Abe is coming for a visit and staying in one of Elliot's bunk beds. "But this is my room," complains Elliot. "It's not fair! I'M LEAVING!" With that, he packs up some belongings and a snack, and takes off for a whirlwind trip around the block - because he knows he's not allowed to cross streets by himself.
PreS-K-Yet another story of a child who runs away from home when his family doesn't appreciate him. Suitcase in tow, Elliot makes it around the block and spends the day in a neighbor's hammock, until the sound of laughter prompts him to peek into his own window. There he finds his Uncle Abe visiting, and Elliot and his family are happily reunited. The predictable story is accompanied by cheerful, cartoon illustrations in tones of yellow, green, and brown. Lillian Hoban's A Baby Sister for Frances (HarperCollins, 1964) and Joe Lasker's The Do-Something Day (Viking, 1982; o.p.) are similiar tales with more interesting characters.-Caroline Parr, Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Fredericksburg, VA
Elliot's mother scolds him for tracking mud across the kitchen floor, his father yells at him for making too much noise, and his sister tattles on him for bouncing on the bed. A small boy can put up with all of this. But when his parents plan to make him share his room with a visiting uncle, Elliot announces he's leaving, packs a suitcase, and heads out the door. Fernandes' illustrations are gay and colorful, but the overall effectiveness of the book could have been improved simply by tightening the design elements (most of the single-page illustrations are set within crisp frames, but some, unaccountably, are not). A small domestic drama typical of childhood, Elliot's trip around the block (he's too young to cross the street) and reunion with his family is a story that most young children will identify with and find reassuring. Buy as needed for larger picture-book collections.