Gr 1-3 Cecil Albert Fingle is afraid of Ernestine Rindblatt, ``the amazon.'' His elaborate schemes to avoid the big E. increase when the duo are made project partners at school. His escalating paranoia is fueled by real and imaginary incidents. When Killer, Ernestine's dog, turns out to be a toy poodle and Ernestine a generous, friendly partner, Cecil is overcome with guilt and self-loathing: ``I am not worth. . .lemonade and munchies. . . . I am a quivering, clutching jellyfish. . . . I, Cecil Albert Fingle, am everything I don't like.'' One last thing about Ernestine, though: ``She really likes. . .quivering jellyfish.'' Cecil's delusions, brought on by his fears, are outrageous and funny; kids will appreciate his schemes for self-preservation and be relieved that they turned out to be unnecessary. The self-deprecating manner, assume-the-worst attitude, and deadpan delivery are reminiscent of Porte's ``Harry'' books (Greenwillow), although Cecil's anxieties take him much farther outhis worry and guilt hysteria make him something of a junior Woody Allen. Bright and comical full-color illustrations alternate with black-and-white drawings; all maintain the suspense about Ernestine's real nature and help to keep Cecil's angst on the funny side of neurotic.