Down Dairy Farm Road

C. L. G. Martin, Author, Diane Dawson Hearn, Illustrator MacMillan Publishing Company $14.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-02-762450-2
Determined to buy a beauty-parlor perm just like ``snooty'' Lucinda Bodine's, Junie May tries to sell some kittens to her farmer neighbors when she accompanies her grandfather on his veterinary rounds. But the only prospective buyer is ``uppity'' Lucinda, who would probably not take care of them, and so Junie May decides to forego her fancy hairdo and make sure the kittens have good homes. Everyone's desires are fulfilled (except Lucinda's) when friendly Mrs. Olsen takes a kitten in exchange for a ``blue-ribbon'' braiding of Junie May's hair. Martin's ( The Dragon Nanny ) chatty story with its flavorsome '50s setting combines a few too many themes--the girls' animosity, the coveted curls, the kittens, the tour of the countryside. The characters seem predictable and interchangeable--``Ooooo, kittens!'' say both villainous Lucinda and kindly Jack and Zack in separate scenes, and the dialogue can seem stilted or didactic. Hearn's ( Dad's Dinosaur Day ) winsome, cartoonlike watercolors are appropriate for the period but do nothing to focus the awkward narrative. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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