cover image The Lemonade Babysitter

The Lemonade Babysitter

Karen Waggoner. Little Brown and Company, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-316-91711-7

Molly is delighted that her old babysitter has quit; she can't wait to return to her mother's office. But a ring of the doorbell reveals ``old Mr. Herbert from down the street,'' who announces that he is the new sitter. Determined to get rid of him, Molly's plans are foiled as Mr. Herbert is more than willing to have his hair fixed, dance to the radio (``I can `Shuffle Off to Buffalo'. . . I could do this forever'') and go to the zoo (``Next stop snack bar''). By the end of the day, after some shared confidences, Molly has made her new sitter some lemonade and is contentedly reading a book along with him. Donohue's soft, sherbet-colored illustrations employ intricate patterns and designs--each section of text is headed by a tiny picture, while page borders and drawings alike twinkle with droll touches. As Mr. Herbert's amicable front neatly offsets Molly's transparent schemes, Waggoner's thoroughly winning story puts a playful spin on a timely theme. This lighthearted, quirky mix of text and art intimates that some of the best babysitters have really been there all along. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)