cover image Box and Cox

Box and Cox

Grace Chetwin. Bradbury Press, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-02-718314-6

Box is a printer who works nights; Cox is a hatter who works days. Unlikely, then, that their paths should cross, which is precisely what Mrs. Bouncer counts on when she rents them the same room. She willingly bears the extra work, removing all traces of Box after he leaves each evening and of Cox once his workday begins, but the situation spins out of control as this droll comedy proceeds toward its inevitable conclusion. The story of Box and Cox has its roots in vaudeville; the book's collaborators borrow freely from that noble tradition in creating this stylized, antic reworking. Chetwin's ( Gom on Windy Mountain ) text is straightfaced, even sober, while Small's ( Imogene's Antlers ; Paper John ) art features large stills, juxtaposed effectively as well as smaller frames within which the more slapstick action--the ceaseless comings and goings, the frenetic cleaning up--occurs. It is a merry performance, deserving a hearty round of applause. Ages 3-8. (Mar.)