LAUREN McGILL'S PICKLE MUSEUM

Jerdine Nolen, Author , illus. by Debbie Tilley. Harcourt/Silver Whistle $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-15-202279-2

Nolen (Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm) adds to her stable of quirky picture-book characters with Lauren McGill, a girl distinguished by an unbridled passion for pickles. Lauren is so obsessed by the tangy treats that she dresses all in bright green pickle-wear and decorates her room with pickle paraphernalia. Though pickles in and of themselves are generally laugh-getters, Nolen's lengthy tale does not sustain a comic tone. Her determinedly preposterous scenarios and details come to feel forced, especially in combination with the messages she weaves in: Lauren learns to feel "special" even when she is no longer the only pickle enthusiast in town, and that her mother is right—that "giving brings giving back." Tilley (The Difference Between Babies & Cookies) relishes her role as a pickle Picasso, employing a range of green hues and bumpy pickle shapes throughout her zippy watercolor cartoons. Unfortunately, her very funny take on Lauren's world doesn't fully redeem the sour notes in the storytelling. Ages 5-8. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/14/2003
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Children's
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