The Boy of the Bells

Carly Simon, Author, Margot Datz, Illustrator Doubleday Books $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-385-41587-3
Simon, whose first foray into children's books was Amy and the Dancing Bear , here offers a holiday tale that she invented for her children when they were small. As a writer, Simon displays a developing feel for language, but the plot, which revolves around a boy named Ben and his suddenly mute sister, Miranda, is uneven, and the tone frequently becomes maudlin. Asked by his grandfather to ring the bells in the church steeple one Christmas Eve, Ben gets the bright idea to fetch Santa early by ringing the midnight bells at 11 o'clock. When Ben begs Santa for help with his sister's handicap, Santa suggests the lad wake the town in the morning with a symphony of bells. Ben does so, Miranda speaks again and readers are left completely mystified as to the cause of her ailment and its sudden cure. Datz's illustrations, though colorful and meticulously executed, are two-dimensional. It's a well-meaning book, but hardly the stuff of which classics are made. All ages. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-385-41736-5
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-7188-2840-0
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