cover image Mrs. Toggle's Zipper

Mrs. Toggle's Zipper

Robin Pulver, Pulver. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-02-775451-3

Pulver's first picture book--a funny, slightly subversive story--concerns Mrs. Toggle, a teacher who arrives in class wearing her big fuschia-colored winter coat. It seems that the zipper is stuck and she can't take her coat off; even worse, the ``thingamajig''--the device used to pull the zipper up and down--is lost. When her concerned students try to help, ``everybody landed, with thuds and bumps, in a heap on the floor.'' All report to the nurse, Mrs. Schott, for help, but she can't solve the problem and the officious principal, Mr. Stickler, is called in. He in turn summons Mr. Abel, the custodian, who has the vocabulary to describe the ``thingamajig'' (even if he has to invent a word), and the needle-nose pliers to rescue the overheated Mrs. Toggle. With their reassuringly familiar character types, Alley's ( The Clever Carpenter ) energetic, simple watercolors complement the witty tale perfectly. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)