THE TERRIBLE UNDERPANTS

Kaz Cooke, Author . Hyperion $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7868-1924-9

"Wanda-Linda and Glenda!... It's time to get dressed," calls Wanda-Linda's father (Glenda is "a hairy-nosed wombat [who] hardly ever gets dressed"). But the girl's knickers are all on the clothesline. "How about these?" asks Mom. "Oh, no! Not the terrible underpants!" Australian author/artist Cooke delineates the Terrible Underpants' considerable shortcomings in a mock-serious diagram in dreary gray and grape tones: the features of the "Front View" include "stretched out elastic," "juice stain" and "hole," while the rear view indicates one side as "very baggy" and the other as "very, very baggy." When her father suggests that no one will notice the horrid pair she wears, plucky Wanda-Linda sets out to prove him wrong. With orange hair in a Laura Petrie flip and Glenda at her side, the girl flashes her underpants at a gasping Mrs. Kafoops from down the street and Wanda-Linda's playground peers, yet she never loses her maniacal smile. She appears to relish being an underwear bête noire. Then, in a development that makes perfect sense in Cooke's off-kilter, fluorescent world, Wanda-Linda does a handstand, and "Somebody in a helicopter took a picture and put it on TV. And everybody in the whole world saw the Terrible Underpants" (inside, father sees it on the tube). This loopy tale should give youngsters a long and satisfyingly naughty giggle. Ages 4-up. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/10/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
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Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-14-056882-0
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