cover image The Guy Who Was Five Minutes Late

The Guy Who Was Five Minutes Late

Bill Grossman. HarperCollins Publishers, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-022268-0

Born five minutes late, eponymous ``Guy'' remains consistent as he grows up--he is always five minutes late. Throughout his life he is late for church, late for school, for work, play and supper. And this causes some romantic woes: ``At twenty he met / A young lady and set / A time for them both to be wed. / He was five minutes late, / and she wouldn't wait, / So she married his brother instead.'' Happily, though, there is a Princess Carrie in the neighborhood, and she's looking for something very much like a late husband. The amusing text is unfortunately paired with strangely sterile, mannered illustrations that, painted in pastel tones, do not complement the whimsical poetry they accompany. Elongated almost to the point of being stick-figures, the characters with their big heads and rouged cheeks stand in other-worldly landscapes with bizarre spatial values, looking like Pee-wee Herman imitators. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)