Mr. Chas & Lisa Sue Meet Panda

Fran Lebowitz, Author, Michael Graves, Illustrator Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers $15 (60p) ISBN 978-0-679-86052-5
Just as hidden caves lie in the forest and treasures twinkle on the ocean floor, secret passageways surely await discovery in New York City's grand apartment buildings. Cultural commentator Lebowitz and architect/Princeton professor Graves-in an eyebrow-raising, distinguished collaboration-lend a sophisticated uptown mood to this curiouser and curiouser story of two precocious seven-year-olds. When bookwormish narrator Mr. Chas and his extroverted neighbor, Lisa Sue, step through a door in Lisa Sue's pantry, they enter a ``particularly empty'' hallway that is ``as long as a whole highway.'' Moments later, they startle two giant pandas, who introduce themselves as Pandemonium and Don't Panda to Public Taste. These black-and-white creatures, it seems, are weary of their seclusion (they can only go out in public disguised as dogs), and seek greener pastures in Paris. Mr. Chas and Lisa Sue devise a classic solution: they stage a panda race to raise funds for the pandas' plane fare. Scattered throughout are Graves's unobtrusively gentle, smudgy line drawings of the children, the pandas and, of course, architectural motifs. This dryly funny fantasy infuses historic urban buildings with the glamour and intrigue of fairy-tale castles. Ages 7-12. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/1994
Release date: 10/01/1994
Hardcover - 978-0-679-87945-9
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