cover image The Two Sillies

The Two Sillies

Mary Ann Hoberman. Harcourt Children's Books, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-202221-1

In measured, never forced verse, Hoberman's (A House Is a House for Me) flightyDor is it grounded?Dromp introduces Lilly, who wants a cat like her friend Sammy's. When he advises her to chop down some nearby trees, Lilly thinks this sounds a little silly: ""Lilly said, `Now why is that?/ Cut down trees to get a cat?'/ Sammy said, `That is the way./ You must cut those trees today.'"" She complies with this directive, as with subsequent ones to build a shed and buy a cow, whose milk then attracts a cat. When mice appear to scare Sammy, it is his turn to follow Lilly's directions, which eventually results in the disappearance of the miceDand two satisfied felines with full tummies. Cravath (Spunky Monkeys on Parade) uses a limber black line to create bright and buoyant, almost cartoonish pictures, but she invests the characters with poise; they look quizzical but never unintelligent. Youngsters can muse on which is sillier: the seemingly nonsensical acts that finally achieve the characters' desired goals or the fact that, once this is accomplished, each character smugly tells the other, ""See, I didn't have to do/ All that work you told me to."" Readers will likely cotton to these silly or are they sage? pals. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)