The Elevator Family

Douglas Evans, Author Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers $14.95 (96p) ISBN 978-0-385-32723-7
In his characteristically quirky style, Evans (The Classroom at the End of the Hall; Apple Island) here makes the most of perhaps the most constricted setting in modern memory. After the ""kind woman at the front desk"" of a San Francisco hotel informs the Wilson family that there are no vacancies, they step into the elevator and discover this ""first-rate room. And it appears to be vacant."" They are thrilled with its amenities: a full-length mirror, a phone, wall-to-wall carpeting, piped-in music and a panel of buttons to play with. Their vertically mobile home even has a name--Otis. The author squeezes in some diverting action: the family of four host a catered dinner party for the hotel guests they have come to know (en route to their respective floors), and manage to foil a kidnapping attempt without leaving their quarters. Forgivably, Evans descends to some predictable puns (Wilson pater announces that his family has been in ""many tight spots"") and comes up with some over-the-top wordplay (""If I don't fit in time to keep fit at the hotel's fitness center, I have a fit"") and alliteration (""On the twentieth floor, Tom and Tia Twiddle, two tourists from Texas, entered Otis toting trucks"")--all in good fun. Like the Wilsons' living space, readers' imaginations will expand to accommodate this blithe narrative. Fittingly sporting a vertical format, this clever tall tale will give kids' spirits a lift. Ages 8-12. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2000
Release date: 05/01/2000
Paperback - 87 pages - 978-0-440-41650-0
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-21173-4
Prebound-Sewn - 87 pages - 978-0-7569-0984-0
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-307-48423-9
Prebound-Glued - 96 pages - 978-0-613-98799-8
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