Mr. Betts and Mr. Potts

Rod Hull, Author, Jo Davies, Illustrator Barefoot Books $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-84148-106-7
In this protracted picture book, Mr. Betts takes his pets to the vet's. ""The vet, whose name was Mr. Potts,/ Listened and said,/ ""You have got lots/ And lots and lots of pets./ What's wrong with them, Mr. Betts?'"" Round-faced Mr. Betts, whose twin tufts of white hair give him a bullish appearance, points out the pastel polka-dots covering his animals. Mr. Potts, whose red bow-tie and white lab coat announce his profession, diagnoses ""spottyitis."" He concocts a green potion that duly erases the spots but produces multicolored stripes on the rabbit, canary, cat and others. A second prescription zaps the stripes but gives the animals beards. More doctor-visits ensue. This posthumous publication of English author Hull mires a potentially entertaining premise in convoluted couplets that don't always scan. Davies further complicates the pages with busy gouaches against pale pink or lavender backdrops. Patients, potions and medicine spoons scatter willy-nilly, vying for attention with the wordy rhymes and making for a muddled read. Ages 4-10. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
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