Jocasta Carr, Movie Star

Roy Gerrard, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $15 (1p) ISBN 978-0-374-33654-7
The ever-inventive Gerrard continues to draw from an impressive range of historical material in creating distinctive, winningly quirky picture books. This latest offering, set in the 1930s, features a thoroughly modern heroine--an actress in search of her beloved canine costar, abducted by a covetous producer. The teenage star, Jocasta Carr, is part Shirley Temple, part Amelia Earhart; she pilots her scarlet seaplane alone around the globe, braving sharks, a leaky radiator and ubiquitous autograph-hunters in search of Belle. Jo not only rescues the pooch, but she generously saves the villainous abductor from an unappetizing diet by summoning police to deliver him from the desert island where he is marooned. Smoothly flowing rhymed couplets reinforce the story's clipped pace, itself a parody of the melodramas that have made Belle and Jocasta famous. An abundance of fetching Art Deco motifs, from the array of geometric borders surrounding text and illustrations to furnishing and architectural details, give the book a bold, graphic look suggestive of its pre-WW II era. Sophisticated yet sweet, and always good fun, this is an intercontinental adventure not to be missed. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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