cover image One of Each

One of Each

Mary Ann Hoberman, Marjorie Priceman. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-316-36731-8

A proud and amiable pooch discovers there's some truth to the saying ""the more the merrier"" when he tires of being alone in his house filled with ""one of each thing."" The dog, named Oliver Tolliver, lives ""in a little old tumbledown house of his own"" where a decor that features ""one little bedroom and one little bed/ With one little pillow for under his head"" and ""one little bookcase with one little book"" suits him perfectly. But when he invites ""Miss P. [a cat] ...over for afternoon tea,"" she fails to appreciate his living arrangement, and Oliver soon adopts a more generous attitude. Through Hoberman's (A House Is a House for Me) jaunty, rhyming text, Oliver's self-discovery unfolds at a brisk pace. The steady rhythm of her verse fairly sings: ""Oh, dearie, how dreary, with just one of each."" Priceman's (Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin) stretched perspectives alternate between panoramic views of the stately home with its Parisian flare (e.g., a festive round table--with tea setting for one--covered with a red-white-and-blue checked cloth, on a tiled floor with open doorways all about) and close-ups that reveal a hovering loneliness (a double-spread still life of an asymmetrical couch with a seated Oliver and assorted solo pieces of fruit). Slightly angular depictions of the expressive Oliver sporting a dusty, golden coat and tender black eyes give the story a strong emotional backbone. And Priceman's bright reds, pinks and aquamarines render the one-of-each house truly one-of-a-kind. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)