WHO INVITED YOU?

Candace Fleming, Author, George Booth, Illustrator , illus. by George Booth. Atheneum/Schwartz $16 (40p) ISBN 978-0-689-83153-9

Young 'uns will eagerly accept these collaborators' tempting invitation to hop aboard this clever cumulative counting caper, which opens as a wild-haired girl in a small boat chimes, "I was a-polin' through the swamp,/ only one,/ only me,/ when I came to the place filled with moss-covered trees." There she encounters a possum "a-swingin',/ a-swayin',/ a-dangly-wangly-playin.' " He drops from the tree and, when asked the titular question, confidently responds, "If you got room for one... you got room for two." In turn, seven other animals invite themselves on board, until the boat becomes mighty crowded indeed: "Now we are nine,/ not an inch more of space,/ as we enter the waters of cold, dark Swamp Lake." The scale of the art and the type size suddenly grow larger as a gator approaches the boat. He doesn't mind at all when he's told there's no room for him—and provides a deliciously droll denouement. Booth's (Possum Come a-Knockin') comical pictures keep perfectly in tune with Fleming's (Gabriella's Song) riotous romp, as they introduce a cast of critters with the inimitable wide-eyed, seemingly electrocuted look that fans of his New Yorker cartoons will immediately recognize. Kids will be caught up in the zany visuals and rollicking rhythm of this natural read-aloud. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)

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