The Old Woman Who Named Things

Cynthia Rylant, Author, Kathryn Brown, Illustrator
Cynthia Rylant, Author, Kathryn Brown, Illustrator Harcourt Children's Books $17 (32p) ISBN 978-0-15-257809-1
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
The unlikely protagonist of this quirky and tenderhearted story is a little old lady with cat glasses and a beehive who might have stepped out of The Far Side. Lonely, she names inanimate objects-her car is Betsy, her bed is Roxanne. A stray dog wanders into her life but she refuses to name it; after losing many friends ""she named only those things she knew she could never outlive."" When the dog disappears, however, she realizes that finding him-and subsequently naming him-is worth the risk of outliving him. Brown's (Boris) hilarious, disproportionate depictions of the cowboy-booted woman and her belongings give this tale much of its bounce. Betsy the car has grinning grillwork and huge fins; Fred the chair has buttons for eyes and a rearing, pompadour-like back cushion. This sweet and silly story has solid kid appeal and the Larsonesque visuals will tickle more than a few grown-ups. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
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