The Trouble with Tilly Trumble

Lynn Manuel, Author, Diane Greenseid, Illustrator
Lynn Manuel, Author, Diane Greenseid, Illustrator ABRAMS $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8109-5972-9
Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
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Tilly Trumble is the local eccentric-a flamboyantly dressed senior citizen who fills her house with broken-down chairs. (""What do you want with another four-legged, scruffy old thing like that?"" neighbors say.) Tilly ""never gave a fig"" about others' opinions, but alone at home, she stares at a bare space by her hearth that no chair has ever been able to fill. Then one day, a big shaggy dog shows up on Tilly's doorstep and worms his way into her heart. This, at long last, was ""the right four-legged, scruffy old thing to fill that empty spot by the fire."" Manuel characterizes Tilly as fiercely independent and offers a refreshing twist that does not end with the strange old lady finally being welcomed into the bosom of the community. The author also exhibits admirable restraint and a nice sense of humor in chronicling how Tilly's affection for the dog grows: After the dog fetches the morning paper for the first time, Tilly warns him, ""Do not try to butter me up!"" and then fries up ""too many sausages."" Greenseid's fondness for curvilinear lines, combined with an almost fluorescent palette, results in images that seem to vibrate on the pages. Although readers may at times get the impression that their eyes are crossing, they will see a gradual bond forming between Tilly and her furry visitor. A portion of the illustrator's royalties is being donated to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Ages 4-8.
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