Whonk, and Whonk Again

Jane Clark Brown, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $13.95 (28p) ISBN 978-0-395-49211-6
Like Dorothy bidding all to accompany her to see the Wizard, Phoebe takes the people in her new neighborhood off to see the ocean liner that is `` whonking'' in the nearby harbor. With her are a street artist, a peddler, a fortune-teller and two robbers who are really a poor flutist and a clarinet-player trying to eke out a living. When they arrive at the wharf, they find not a mighty ocean liner but a mere tugboat, and go for a boat ride. Much later, Phoebe tries to return home--getting lost on the way--but ultimately finding her front door. Brown's first solo effort is a convoluted work of many charming moments but no real substance. Like the boat ride for the starving artist, this is a quick fix, but it is full of false starts and worrisome aspects: a small girl going off with strangers? Staying out till after dark in a new neighborhood? If this is meant to be an imaginative trip only, most readers will be left behind. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Hardcover - 978-0-517-07946-1
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