cover image Is Susan Here?

Is Susan Here?

Janice May Udry. HarperCollins Publishers, $14 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-026142-9

`` One day right after breakfast, Susan disappeared,'' reads the text accompanying this cheerful book's opening picture--a bedroom doorway through which is seen the bunny-slipper-clad foot of an exiting little girl. A series of visitors descend on Susan's parents: a tiger helps Susan's mother do the dishes, an elephant helps hang clothes out to dry, a monkey goes marketing with Susan's father. Susan's parents aren't scared: all the animals are Susan's size and they sport familiar objects. The monkey, for example, wears a strainer over its face; a brown necktie around its waist suggests its tail; and fur-trimmed socks adorn its feet. The chicken, who helps with the sewing, models an oversized yellow sweater, a trimmed hat and a red bandanna tied into the shape of a beak. Conveyed in a deadpan tone, Udry's evenly paced, well-structured story serves as a foil to the panoply of costumes in Gundersheimer's cleanly executed drawings, which balance an abundance of color and pattern with ample white space. Most young readers will race to their closets in search of more dress-up ideas. Ages 4-8. (June)