A creative and resourceful heroine turns an obsession into an asset in this funny entry from a debut author and illustrator. "Prudy seemed like a normal little girl.... But Prudy collected things." The gently ironic text demonstrates that while collecting is natural ("Prudy's friend Egbert collected butterflies. So did Prudy"), it's the excess that becomes problematic ("Belinda had a stamp collection. So did Prudy... Prudy collected everything"). Thoroughly detailed and delightfully deadpan pencil-and-gouache pictures show Prudy racking up her treasures: "She saved rocks, feathers, leaves, twigs, dead bugs, and old flowers. She kept a box full of interesting fungi in the bottom drawer of her dresser." Finally, when her bedroom door bursts (a series of wordless vignettes shows an explosion of prized possessions being redistributed across the universe), Prudy hits upon a solution: the Prudy Museum of Indescribable Wonderment. In an impressive debut, Armstrong-Ellis has created an endearingly neurotic heroine ("There is no problem!" shouts Prudy at suggestions that she might be a wee bit obsessed). The story reaches zeniths of daffiness several times (she visits a "rock collection" that bears an uncanny resemblance to Stonehenge) but Armstrong-Ellis manages the tone and pacing skillfully, so the comedy never overwhelms the story's all-too-authentic underpinnings. A nudge and tickle in the ribs for packrats of all ages-and the people who tolerate them-from a breakout talent. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
K-Gr 3-A delightful examination of a common affliction. Prudy is a pack rat with a penchant for collecting. Unlike her peers who maintain one or two selective collections, she hoards everything under the sun. As one might expect, things ultimately get out of control, trying even the patience of her tolerant parents. When the youngster finds a silver gum wrapper on the ground, she must add it to her shiny-things collection immediately. It turns out to be the catalyst for an explosion that rocks her crammed-full room and blows her treasures all over the globe. Even Prudy has to acknowledge that perhaps she does have a problem; she regroups, does some research, and comes up with a wildly inventive solution-the Prudy Museum of Indescribable Wonderment. Wacky, colorful art with some of the characters displaying Edward Goreyesque touches adds tremendous fun to this wonderfully nontherapeutic, irreverent tale. Prudy is a true eccentric-and more power to her.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
A fiber artist successfully switches to paint and colored pencil for this breezy tale of a child with an extreme case of collectivitis. Like her friends, Prudy collects stamps, butterflies, and tinfoil-but that's just the tip of the iceberg, as her room bulges with everything from "six hundred and fourteen stuffed animals in different unnatural colors" to assemblages of "interesting fungi" and tufts of dog hair. Despite strong hints from everyone, she's in deep denial-" 'There is no problem!' "-until her room finally explodes from the pressure, scattering debris not only across the house but, as detailed in a spread of wordless panels, across the world, and even beyond. While friends and family sort through the mounds of stuff-all drawn with loving attention to detail in bright, comically busy scenes-Prudy searches for, and finds, a solution satisfactory to all: "The Prudy Museum of Indescribable Wonderment" (tickets 25�) soon opens to waves of bemused visitors. Even children who don't share Prudy's addiction in some measure (if there are any) will pore over her deliciously quirky collections in this light-hearted debut. (Picture book. 6-8)