cover image Now Everybody Really Hates Me

Now Everybody Really Hates Me

Jane Read Martin. HarperCollins, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-021293-3

``I am in my room and I am never coming out,'' announces the impassioned heroine of this high-spirited escapade--a sparkling children's book debut for all three creators. Martin and Marx, both former writers for Saturday Night Live , display their comedic talents as their young exile recounts what she will and will not do during her lifetime in her bedroom. First she explains her self-imposed sentence: she has been banished by her parents from her brother's birthday party (they say she hit him on the head and called him a dumbbell; her version differs--``I did not hit Theodore. I touched him hard. I did not call him a dumbbell, I called him a dumb head''). Then she declares that she will stay up late (``It will be so late when I go to bed that it will be the next day''); will never speak English again (``I will speak in a code that only I will understand''); and will never clean up (``and in a few days poisonous mushrooms will grow on my bed''). Her resolve weakens when she is offered cake and ice cream . . . but in typical frisky fashion, she delivers conditions for accepting the treats. Chast, using the same approach here as she does in her celebrated cartoons for the New Yorker , produces zany, hilariously detailed pictures--an ideal match for the jaunty text. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)