Funny, Funny Lyle

Bernard Waber, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $16 (40p) ISBN 978-0-395-43619-6
Readers may be somewhat mystified by this latest installment in the saga of Lyle the lovable Crocodile, who lives with the Primm family on Manhattan's Upper East Side. In Waber's convoluted tale, clear narrative is sacrificed in the name of playful atmosphere. Lyle's mother Felicity has journeyed from the Land of Crocodile to join Lyle; they are happiest by day, when it is ""just the two of them doing their chores.'' In the pivotal episode, Mrs. Primm takes Felicity shopping at a department store. Felicity, who innocently stocks her shopping bag with perfume bottles, lands in jail. Sentenced by a lenient judge to perform community service, Felicity gets the necessary training to care for the Primm's new baby. The story is carried on the strength of the warm illustrations, rendered in blotted ink line and soft watercolor washes. Whether this is a story of naturalization or cultural inculcation is unclear and perhaps unimportant, when irresistible scenes include one of Lyle, mirror in hand, practicing his best crooked-grin grimaces. Ages 4-8. (September)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 09/01/1987
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-16122-0
Prebound-Glued - 40 pages - 978-0-8335-8052-8
Paperback - 40 pages - 978-0-395-60287-4
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