Little Sophie and Lanky Flop

Els Pelgrom, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $11.95 (87p) ISBN 978-0-374-34624-9
Sophie is seriously ill and confined to her bed, but retains a curiosity about the outside world that annoys her parents and frustrates her tutor. One night all her dolls come to life for a performance in a doll-sized theater. Her tomcat, Terror, suggests ``What Life Has to Offer'' as a play, and with Sophie's doll, Lanky Flop, their performance becomes part of a world beyond the stage. The subsequent adventureswhich include ``bad language,'' semi-nude dancing, a few thefts and, for Lanky Flop, a romp beneath the sheets with the puppeteer's wife, Annabellaculminate in Sophie's death, which is considered, in the story's framework, the beginning of an endless journey with Lanky Flop et al. The comic line drawings match the tongue-in-cheek tone of the story, which could be characterized as ``Pinocchio Meets the Little Match Girl.'' But the pictures, like the story, contain elements that may disturb some readers: a drawing of maimed and disabled children, to which Sophie's (sudden) baldness is equated. This is no more frightening or lusty than any of the Grimms' or Andersen's tales, but because it is an original story and therefore unfamiliar, some elements shock. However, what may not be suitable for readers at the younger end of the age range will be sophisticated and inventive entertainment for others. Ages 7-10. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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