JUST ENOUGH AND NOT TOO MUCH

Kaethe Zemach, Author, Kaethe Zemach, Author . Scholastic/Levine $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-439-37724-9

Zemach (The Character in the Book ) applies her cozy, colorful illustrations to this tale of a fiddler whose short bout with greed wakes him to the meaning of true contentment. Simon is "perfectly happy" keeping house, spending time with friends and playing his fiddle until he abruptly decides one day he doesn't have enough. "I want more! " he exclaims from atop his sole wooden chair, the shout arching over his head in large, blue typeface. While no reason is given for this sudden change of heart, readers will enjoy the ensuing repetitive narrative alongside animated vignettes of him stockpiling more stuff. "So, Simon got another chair. And another, and another, and then a few more." The pattern continues with hats and stuffed animals, as warm-hued watercolor and gouache illustrations depict the increasingly crowded abode. At once modest in their composition and involved in their variety of colors, patterns and textures (e.g., a blowzy floral motif on a chair, a cotton-candy pink braided rug), Zemach's light and bright paintings—complete with rosy-cheeked characters—maintain a cheerful mood. Realizing his added possessions fail to deliver lasting happiness as they clutter his simple lifestyle, Simon throws a party and sends guests home with the extraneous belongings. A good read to temper a case of the "Gimmees." Ages 3-7. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 12/22/2003
Release date: 10/01/2003
Genre: Children's
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