The Perilous Pit

Orel Odinov Protopopescu, Author, Jacqueline Chwast, Illustrator Simon & Schuster $14 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-76910-9
No, this rollicking yarn is not about a dangerous hole in the ground--it concerns the carelessly discarded remains of a peach. When Katie flings away a peach pit, she sets off a momentous chain of events, ``for the pit hit a cat / who ran into the street / and made a car bump / into a fireplug.'' As fire engines approach and water gushes from the hydrant, ``daredevil Danny'' the skateboarder surfs through the town and out to sea. Protopopescu's story, a run-on sentence separated into unrhymed stanzas, leaves readers breathless. It is, in fact, difficult to read aloud. Chwast, for her part, balances wide black outlines with airy white backgrounds in her high-contrast compositions--flowing curves, jagged edges and bright watercolor details jazz up the deliberately clunky figures. Nicely executed designs aside, however, this book fails to engage the emotions. Ages 4-6. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/29/1993
Release date: 04/01/1993
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