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NURSERY CRIMES

Arthur Geisert, Author . Houghton/Lorraine $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-618-06487-8

The little piggies in Geisert's (Oink Oink) latest porcine paean try to go to market, but are temporarily derailed in this clever caper of a picture book. French emigrants Jambo and Marva Jambonneau and their 12 piglets run a successful tree nursery in Ames, Iowa (an area famous for its nurseries), where they show off their talents as gifted topiarists and raise giant pumpkins. Each autumn, the pigs and their neighbors work overtime to meet local demand for trees trimmed into the shape of turkeys. But after the Jambonneaus put the finishing touches on their first batch of turkey trees, their masterpieces mysteriously disappear during the night. Family teamwork, Marva's quick thinking and the oversize squashes all play a part in discovering the thief just in time for a fine fall harvest sale. Geisert combines history, unique Midwestern color and fun in his simple yet snappy text. His intricate, evocative hand-colored etchings incorporate bits of bright and clunky salvage strewn about the nursery, adding character to the scenes. And his lush turkey topiaries would be a boon to any landscape. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/10/2001
Release date: 09/01/2001
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