cover image Midnight Eaters

Midnight Eaters

Amy Hest, Hest. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-02-743630-3

Granddaughter and grandmother conspire in this demure and touching story to pass a night together in complete freedom, breaking rules when necessary and sharing intergenerational wisdom. `` `Is it awful being old?' '' asks redheaded scamp Samantha J. Blustein (aka Sam). `` `Not awful. But different,' '' Nana replies. Left to their own devices, the two abandon their beds to concoct ice-cream sundaes, swap stories, look at old family photographs, vowing not to tell a soul about their nocturnal mischief. Gundersheimer ( A Special Trade ) sweetly and surely evokes magical companionship in her lambent watercolors, while Hest ( The Mommy Exchange ) gently reveals Sam and Nana through convincing dialogue. The mild-mannered plot, however, drifts into anticlimax, losing emotional momentum. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)