cover image The Seltzer Man

The Seltzer Man

Ken Rush. MacMillan Publishing Company, $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-02-777917-2

A delivery man sees his job in a new light when he takes two young helpers along on his route. After ``schlepping seltzer'' throughout Brooklyn for 40 years, Eli feels ready to retire--``My truck's worn out, and folks don't want to fuss with my old bottles and crates anymore.'' But Beth and her sister are fascinated by his work, and jump at Eli's suggestion that they accompany him on his rounds. The final stop on a busy delivery day is Coney Island, for ``lunch on the boardwalk'' and a ride on the Wonder Wheel. The girls' wide-eyed enthusiasm convinces Eli that he's not quite prepared to park his truck for good. Rush's follow-up to Some Things Never Change , though set in a contemporary period, again harkens to days gone by, melding past and present into a quiet, though accessible package. Thickly applied oil paint provides enough specific touches to suggest a time and place, while some indiscernible facial features and building fronts evoke a universal feeling. Ages 4-8. (Apr . )